Homoleptic Nb-complexes combined with selected organic nucleophiles generate very active catalytic systems for the cycloaddition of propylene oxide and CO2 under ambient conditions. An unprecedented reaction pathway towards an acyclic organic carbonate is observed when extending the study to [Nb(OEt)5] in combination with 4-dimethylamino-pyridine (DMAP) or tetra-n-butylammonium bromide (TBAB). Mechanistic insights of the reaction are provided based on experimental and spectroscopic evidences. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.
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