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Dibenzosilanorbornadienyl Cations and Their Fragmentation into Silyliumylidenes

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posted on 17.07.2013, 00:00 by Claudia Gerdes, Wolfgang Saak, Detlev Haase, Thomas Müller
The terphenyl-substituted dibenzosilanorbornadienyl cation 11 was synthesized and isolated in the form of its [B­(C6F5)4] salt. The salt was characterized by NMR spectroscopy supported by quantum mechanical computations and by an XRD analysis of a corresponding acetonitrilium salt. The thermal fragmentation of 11[B­(C6F5)4] in benzene results in the high-yield formation of diphenylterphenylsilylium borate 17[B­(C6F5)4]. High-lying intermediates in this process are solvent-complexed terphenylsilyliumylidene 8 and the hydrogen- and phenyl-substituted silylium ion 20. The formation of silylium ion 20 by reaction of silyliumylidene 8 with the solvent benzene demonstrates the high potential of this four valence electron species in C–H bond activation reactions. In addition, the instability of the hydrogen-substituted silylium ion 20 in benzene opens new mechanistic perspectives particular for dihydrogen activation by silyl cationic frustrated Lewis pairs and in general for the dihydrogen activation by strong Lewis acids.