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Small-Molecule Activation Mediated by a Uranium Bipyridyl Metallocene

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journal contribution
posted on 10.03.2017, 16:52 by Lei Zhang, Congcong Zhang, Guohua Hou, Guofu Zi, Marc D. Walter
Addition of potassium graphite (KC8) to a solution of (η5-C5Me5)2UCl2 (1) and 2,2′-bipyridine (bipy) gives the uranium bipyridyl metallocene (η5-C5Me5)2U­(bipy) (2) in good yield. In complex 2 a bipy radical anion is coordinated to a U­(III) atom, and it is therefore an ideal starting material for small-molecule activation: e.g., it serves as a synthetic equivalent for the (η5-C5Me5)2UII fragment on treatment with conjugated alkynes and a variety of heterounsaturated molecules such as imines, carbodiimide, organic azides, hydrazine, and azo derivatives. Alternatively, it may also react with aldehydes, ketones, nitriles, and α,β-unsaturated reagents such as p-ClPhCHO, (CH2)5CO, PhCN, and methyl methacrylate (MMA), forming the C–C bond coupling products (η5-C5Me5)2U­[(bipy)­(p-ClPhCHO)] (10), (η5-C5Me5)2U­[(bipy)­{(CH2)5CO}] (11), (η5-C5Me5)2U­[(bipy)­(PhCN)] (12), (η5-C5Me5)2U­[(bipy)­{CH2C­(Me)­CO­(OMe)] (13a), and [(η5-C5Me5)2U­{OC­(OMe)C­(Me)­CH2–3-bipy}]2 (13b), respectively, in quantitative conversion. Furthermore, addition of CuI to complex 2 induces a single-electron-transfer process to form the uranium­(III) iodide complex (η5-C5Me5)2U­(I)­(bipy) (14).

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