Gold(I) and Gold(III) Complexes of Cyclic (Alkyl)(amino)carbenes

A.S. Romanov, M. Bochmann

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The chemistry of Au(I) complexes with two types of cyclic (alkyl)(amino)carbene (CAAC) ligands has been explored, using the sterically less demanding dimethyl derivative Me2CAAC and the 2-adamantyl ligand AdCAAC. The conversion of (AdCAAC)AuCl into (AdCAAC)AuOH by treatment with KOH is significantly accelerated by the addition of tBuOH. (AdCAAC)AuOH is a convenient starting material for the high-yield syntheses of (AdCAAC)AuX complexes by acid/base and C-H activation reactions (X = OAryl, CF3CO2, N(Tf)2, C2Ph, C6F5, C6HF4, C6H2F3, CH2C(O)C6H4OMe, CH(Ph)C(O)Ph, CH2SO2Ph), while the cationic complexes [(AdCAAC)AuL]+ (L = CO, CNtBu) and (AdCAAC)AuCN were obtained by chloride substitution from (AdCAAC)AuCl. The reactivity toward variously substituted fluoroarenes suggests that (AdCAAC)AuOH is able to react with C-H bonds with pKa values lower than about 31.5. This, together with the spectroscopic data, confirm the somewhat stronger electron-donor properties of CAAC ligands in comparison to imidazolylidene-type N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs). In spite of this, the oxidation of Me2CAAC and AdCAAC gold compounds is much less facile. Oxidations proceed with C-Au cleavage by halogens unless light is strictly excluded. The oxidation of (AdCAAC)AuCl with PhICl2 in the dark gives near-quantitative yields of (AdCAAC)AuCl3, while [Au(Me2CAAC)2]Cl leads to trans-[AuCl2(Me2CAAC)2]Cl. In contrast to the chemistry of imidazolylidene-type gold NHC complexes, oxidation products containing Au-Br or Au-I bonds could not be obtained; whereas the reaction with CsBr3 cleaves the Au-C bond to give mixtures of [AdCAAC-Br]+[AuBr2]- and [(AdCAAC-Br)]+ [AuBr4]-, the oxidation of (AdCAAC)AuI with I2 leads to the adduct (AdCAAC)AuI·I2. Irrespective of the steric demands of the CAAC ligands, their gold complexes proved more resistant to oxidation and more prone to halogen cleavage of the Au-C bonds than gold(I) complexes of imidazole-based NHC ligands. (Chemical Equation Presented). © 2015 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2439-2454
Number of pages16
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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