Unsymmetrical Zirconacyclopentadienes from Isolated Zirconacyclopropenes with 1-Alkynylphosphine Ligands

The reaction of one equiv of 1-alkynylphosphines, R2PCCR′ (R = Et, iPr, or Ph and R′ = Ph or Mes), with Cp2Zr(pyr)(η2-Me3SiCCSiMe3) resulted in formation of monoalkyne complexes. In the case where R = Et, iPr, or Ph and R′ = Ph, a “ligand free” zirconacyclopropene complex is produced. These complexes are stabilized by intermolecular donation of the phosphorus lone-pair in the dimeric complexes [Cp2Zr(η2-R2PCCPh)]2 (R = Et, iPr, or Ph). However, with R = Ph and R′ = Mes, the zirconocyclopropene-pyridine complex Cp2Zr(pyr)(η2-Ph2PCCMes) is formed. Homocoupling of the 1-alkynylphosphines was demonstrated by reaction of a second equiv of Ph2PCCPh with [Cp2Zr(η2-Ph2PCCPh)]2 to give the diphosphinozirconacyclopentadiene Cp2Zr[2,5-(Ph2P)2-3,4-Ph2C4] with high regioselectivity (77%). The zirconacyclopropene complexes also react with one equiv of PhCCPh or EtCCEt to give zirconacyclopentadienes in which the phosphino substituent preferentially adopts the 2-position (α) of the zirconacyclopentadiene ring. These unsymmetrical zirconacyclopentadienes undergo substitution of the R2PCCR′ moiety with the less bulky alkynes PhCCPh or EtCCEt. The substituents on the 1-alkynylphosphines significantly influence the rates of alkyne substitution such that sterically more demanding substituents in either the α- (-PiPr2) or β- (-Mes) position of the zirconacycle lead to faster exchange. The α-phosphinozirconacyclopentadienes were readily converted to 1-phosphinobutadienes via reaction with benzoic acid. The zirconacyclopentadiene Cp2Zr[2-Ph2P-3,4,5-Ph3C4] was converted to the corresponding thiophene oxide by the oxo-transfer reaction with sulfur dioxide. In the case of ((1Z,3E)-3-ethyl-2-phenylhexa-1,3-dienyl)diphenylphosphine and (3,4,5-triphenylthiophen-2-yl oxide)diphenylphosphine, the molecules were isolated as their phosphine oxides. Reactions of the zirconacyclopropene complexes [Cp2Zr(η2-Ph2PCCPh)]2 and Cp2Zr(pyr)(η2-Ph2PCCMes) with the diyne (F5C6)CC−1,4-C6H4−CC(C6F5) gave bis(zirconacycle)s terminated with phosphino groups. These bis(zirconacycle)s were converted to the corresponding phosphino-terminated oligomers by protonolysis with hydrochloric acid. In addition, the Ph2PCCMes moiety of Cp2Zr[2-Ph2P-3-Mes-4-(C6F5)C4]−1,4-C6H4−Cp2Zr[2-Ph2P-3-Mes-4-(C6F5)C4] was exchanged with PhCCPh to give the phenylene(zirconacyclopentadiene) Cp2Zr[2,3-Ph2-4-(C6F5)C4]−1,4-C6H4−Cp2Zr[2,3-Ph2-4-(C6F5)C4].