INVESTIGATIONS INTO RARE COORDINATION ENVIRONMENTS OF AL, P AND PD SPECIES: SYNTHESIS AND APPLICATIONS
This research work includes three parts, with the first section describing the synthesis and applications of neutral 3-coordinate aluminum complexes. As demonstrated in this part, aluminum complexes in a 3-coordinate geometry can be formed only with a ring size greater than or equal to a 6-member ring when supported by diamido ligands. It is found that 1,2-diamido ligands designed for 5-member ring formations can accommodate the formation of only 4-coordinate dinuclear species, which show no activity when used as a single component catalyst in the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of cyclic esters under specified reaction conditions. Three-coordinate neutral (1,4-diamido)AlMe complexes are successfully synthesized, revealing a higher activity in the ROP of cyclic esters than the existing 6-member analogues under the same reaction conditions. A detailed discussion of the structure-reactivity relationship of Al catalysts in the ROP of cyclic esters is presented. The second part of this thesis project consists of investigations into the applications of 1,4-diamido ligands for the formation of 3-coordinate NHP (N-heterocyclic phosphine) and 2-coordinate NHP+ cations (phosphenium cations). These novel NHP species are the first to be shown in a 7-member ring supported by 1,4-diamido ligands. Various N-substituents in the 1,4-diamido ligands are examined for the formation of a cyclic structure based on their steric hindrance. It is found that a Dipp (2,6-diisopropylphenyl) group is unable to allow for the formation of a 7-member NHP due to its excessive steric bulk. The less bulky mesityl (2,4,6-trimethylphenyl) group at the N-positions in the ligands leads to successful formation of these novel NHPs and NHP+ species. Furthermore, an investigation is carried out to explore their π-accepting property by means of 31P NMR studies. The NHP and NHP+ species synthesized in this project show chemical shifts downfield relative to the existing 5- and 6-member analogues in 31P NMR experiments, suggesting a high potential of 7-member NHPs to be used as π-acceptor ligands. The second section also examined the resulting NHPs and NHP+ species for coordinating to various metals. The last part of this research work is dedicated to presenting the first example of chelating 3–triNHC (tri-N-heterocyclic carbene) ligands that allow for the formation of (triNHC)Pd(II) complexes in a meridional fashion, wherein the triNHC ligand coordinates to the metal center in a pseudo-meridional fashion. Novel [(triNHC)MePdX]X (X = Cl or acetate) complexes are successfully synthesized, and they display extraordinary stability against air and heat. Low activities of the resulting complexes are found in promoting C-C coupling reactions, possibly due to the low solubility of the resulting complexes in organic solvents. Various attempts to change the N-substituents to groups other than methyls are conducted to improve the solubility of the complexes in organic solvents for higher activities in C-C coupling reactions. The results from these attempted modifications to these complexes are discussed in detail. All complexes are characterized by standard spectral methods such as mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography, elemental analysis, 1H NMR, 13C NMR and 31P NMR spectroscopy.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeWard, Dale; Mueller, Jens; Burns, Christopher; Haddadi, Azita
Copyright DateApril 2014
aluminum, NHC, phosphine, NHP, N-heterocyclic phosphine, triNHC, trisNHC, palladium, 3-coordinate, 2-coordinate, 1,2-diamine, 1,4-diamine