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Bimetallic C–C Bond-Forming Reductive Elimination from Nickel

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posted on 22.03.2016, 00:00 by Hongwei Xu, Justin B. Diccianni, Joseph Katigbak, Chunhua Hu, Yingkai Zhang, Tianning Diao
Ni-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions have found important applications in organic synthesis. The fundamental characterization of the key steps in cross-coupling reactions, including C–C bond-forming reductive elimination, represents a significant challenge. Bimolecular pathways were invoked in early proposals, but the experimental evidence was limited. We present the preparation of well-defined (pyridine-pyrrolyl)­Ni monomethyl and monophenyl complexes that allow the direct observation of bimolecular reductive elimination to generate ethane and biphenyl, respectively. The sp3–sp3 and sp2–sp2 couplings proceed via two distinct pathways. Oxidants promote the fast formation of Ni­(III) from (pyridine-pyrrolyl)­Ni-methyl, which dimerizes to afford a bimetallic Ni­(III) intermediate. Our data are most consistent with the subsequent methyl coupling from the bimetallic Ni­(III) to generate ethane as the rate-determining step. In contrast, the formation of biphenyl is facilitated by the coordination of a bidentate donor ligand.