Enhancing electron accepting ability of triarylboron via π-conjugation with 2,2′-bipy and metal chelation: 5,5′-bis(BMes 2)-2,2′-bipy and its metal complexes

Yi Sun, Nicole Ross, Shu Bin Zhao, Krista Huszarik, Wen Li Jia, Rui Yao Wang, Donal Macartney, Suning Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

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164 Citations (Scopus)


The synthesis of a new diboron compound, 5,5′-bis(BMes2)-2,2′-bipy (B2bipy, 1), has been accomplished. The conjugation of the 2,2′-bipy unit with the two BMes2 groups in 1 has been found to greatly enhance the electron-accepting ability of the boron centers, compared to the biphenyl analogue. 1 is an effective chelate ligand for metal ions and three metal complexes; namely, [CuI(B2bipy)(PPh3)2][BF4], 2, PtII(B2bipy)Ph2, 3a, and PtII(B2bipy)Me2, 3b, have been synthesized. The binding of metal ions to B2bipy was found to further significantly increase the electron-accepting ability/Lewis acidity of the boron centers. Cyclic voltammetry diagrams revealed that the free ligand and all three complexes display two reversible reduction peaks that are separated by 0.31-0.40 V. The first reduction potential (E1/2) for 1, 2, 3a, and 3b was found to be -1.69, -1.36, -1.34, and -1.38 V, respectively, versus FeCp2+/0 in DMF, which supports that the electron-accepting ability of the metal complexes is much greater than that of BMes(C6F5)2. The strong electron-accepting ability/Lewis acidity of the metal complexes and the free ligand was manifested by their ability to sequentially bind to 2 equiv of F- ions in non-alcoholic solvents with K1 ≥ 108 and 109 M-1 for 1 and 3a, respectively, and to 1 equiv of F- ions in the presence of methanol/ethanol or water. The crystal structures of 1, its 2:1 fluoride adduct [NBu4]2[1F2], and 3a were established by X-ray diffraction analyses. The 1:1 fluoride adduct of 2, [CuI(B2bipyF)(PPh3)2], 2F, isolated directly from the reaction of 2 with NBu4F in a 4:1 mixture of CH3OH and CH2Cl2 was characterized. All metal complexes are intensely colored and display a characteristic metal-to-ligand (B2bipy) charge transfer absorption band in the visible region, which was found to be highly sensitive toward binding by anions such as fluorides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7510-7511
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

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