Proton-induced Lewis acidity of unsaturated iridium amides

Zachariah M. Heiden, Thomas Rauchfuss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxidation of Cp*Ir((rac-TsDPEN)H (DPEN = H2NCHPhCHPhNTs) with Cp2FePF6 or Ph3CPF6 in MeCN solution generates [Cp*Ir(TsDPEN)(NCMe)]PF6 ([1H(NCMe)]PF6) together with H2 and Ph3CH, respectively. Labeling studies revealed that the Ir-H was abstracted. The formation of a transient electrophilic species is implicated by the formation of a cyclometalated derivative. The labile species [1H(NCMe)]+ was also obtained by protonation of the diamido derivative Cp*Ir(TsDPEN-H) (1) in MeCN solution (BArF4- = B(C6H3-3,5-(CF3)2)4-). The unsaturated, "naked" cation [1H]BArF4 can be prepared by protonation of 1 with H(OEt2)2BArF4 in CH2Cl2 solution or by thermal elimination of MeCN from [1H(NCMe)]+. Crystallographic analysis confirms the structure of this 16e cation in [1H]BArF4. The formally unsaturated species 1 and [1H]BArF4 have strongly contrasting Lewis acidities, with the cation binding PPh3, CO, and NH3. 1 does not measurably bind these same ligands. [1H]BArF4 is reactive toward H2, at least in the absence of inhibiting donor ligands such as MeCN. [1H]BArF4 (CH2Cl2 solutions) catalyzes the addition of H2 to 1 by proton transfer from an apparent dihydrogen complex. This work demonstrates that the protonation activates the Lewis acidity of unsaturated Ir(III) amides, giving rise to novel organometallic Lewis acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13048-13049
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 11 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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