Reversible, Room-Temperature CC Bond Activation of Benzene by an Isolable Metal Complex
datasetposted on 28.06.2019 by Jamie Hicks, Petra Vasko, Jose M. Goicoechea, Simon Aldridge
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The activation of CC bonds is of fundamental interest in the construction of complex molecules from petrochemical feedstocks. In the case of the archetypal aromatic hydrocarbon benzene, CC cleavage is thermodynamically disfavored, and is brought about only by transient highly reactive species generated in situ. Here we show that the oxidative addition of the CC bond in benzene by an isolated metal complex is not only possible, but occurs at room temperature and reversibly at a single aluminium center in [(NON)Al]− (where NON = 4,5-bis(2,6-diisopropylanilido)-2,7-di-tert-butyl-9,9-dimethylxanthene). Selectivity over CH bond activation is achieved kinetically and allows for the generation of functionalized acyclic products from benzene.