Unusual C-C bond cleavage in the formation of amine-bis(phenoxy) group 4 benzyl complexes: Mechanism of formation and application to stereospecific polymerization

Ravikumar R. Gowda, Lucia Caporaso, Luigi Cavallo, Eugene You Xian Chen

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9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Group 4 tetrabenzyl compounds MBn4 (M = Zr, Ti), upon protonolysis with an equimolar amount of the tetradentate amine-tris(phenol) ligand N[(2,4-tBu2C6H2(CH 2)OH]3 in toluene from -30 to 25 °C, unexpectedly lead to amine-bis(phenoxy) dibenzyl complexes, BnCH2N[(2,4- tBu2C6H2(CH2)O] 2MBn2 (M = Zr (1), Ti (2)) in 80% (1) and 75% (2) yields. This reaction involves an apparent cleavage of the >NCH2-ArOH bond (loss of the phenol in the ligand) and formation of the >NCH 2-CH2Bn bond (gain of the benzyl group in the ligand). Structural characterization of 1 by X-ray diffraction analysis confirms that the complex formed is a bis(benzyl) complex of Zr coordinated by a newly derived tridentate amine-bis(phenoxy) ligand arranged in a mer configuration in the solid state. The abstractive activation of 1 and 2 with B(C6F 5)3·THF in CD2Cl2 at room temperature generates the corresponding benzyl cations {BnCH2N[(2,4- tBu2C6H2(CH2)O] 2MBn(THF)}+[BnB(C6F5) 3]- (M = Zr (3), Ti, (4)). These cationic complexes, along with their analogues derived from (imino)phenoxy tri- and dibenzyl complexes, [(2,6-iPr2C6H3)N=C(3,5- tBu2C6H2)O]ZrBn3 (5) and [2,4-Br2C6H2(O)(6-CH2(NC 5H9))CH2N=CH(2-adamantyl-4-MeC 6H2O)]ZrBn2 (6), have been found to effectively polymerize the biomass-derived renewable β-methyl-α-methylene- γ-butyrolactone (βMMBL) at room temperature into the highly stereoregular polymer PβMMBL with an isotacticity up to 99% mm. A combined experimental and DFT study has yielded a mechanistic pathway for the observed unusual C-C bond cleavage in the present protonolysis reaction between ZrBn4 and N[(2,4-tBu2C 6H2(CH2)OH]3 for the formation of complex 1, which involves the benzyl radical and the Zr(III) species, resulting from thermal and photochemical decomposition of ZrBn4, followed by a series of reaction sequences consisting of protonolysis, tautomerization, H-transfer, oxidation, elimination, and radical coupling. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4118-4130
Number of pages13
JournalOrganometallics
Volume33
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 31 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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