Radical Capture at Ni(II) Complexes: C-C, C-N, and C-O Bond Formation

<p>The dinuclear b-diketiminato Ni<sup>II</sup><i>tert</i>-butoxide {[Me<sub>3</sub>NN]Ni}<sub>2</sub>(<i>μ</i>-O<i><sup>t</sup></i>Bu)<sub>2 </sub>(<b>2</b>), synthesized from [Me<sub>3</sub>NN]Ni(2,4-lutidine) (<b>1</b>) and di-<i>tert</i>-butylperoxide, is a versatile precursor for the synthesis of a series of Ni<sup>II</sup>complexes [Me<sub>3</sub>NN]Ni-FG to illustrate C-C, C-N, and C-O bond formation at Ni<sup>II </sup>via radicals. {[Me<sub>3</sub>NN]Ni}<sub>2</sub>(<i>μ</i>-O<i><sup>t</sup></i>Bu)<sub>2 </sub>reacts with nitromethane, alkyl and aryl amines, acetophenone, benzamide, ammonia and phenols to deliver corresponding mono- or dinuclear [Me<sub>3</sub>NN]Ni-FG species (FG = O<sub>2</sub>NCH<sub>2</sub>, R-NH, ArNH, PhC(O)NH, PhC(O)CH<sub>2</sub>, NH<sub>2</sub>and OAr). Many of these Ni<sup>II </sup>complexes are capable of capturing the benzylic radical PhCH(•)CH<sub>3 </sub>to deliver corresponding PhCH(FG)CH<sub>3 </sub>products featuring C-C, C-N or C-O bonds. DFT studies shed light on the mechanism of these transformations and suggest two competing pathways that depend on the nature of the functional groups. These radical capture reactions at [Ni<sup>II</sup>]-FG complexes outline key C-C, C-N, and C-O bond forming steps and suggest new families of nickel radical relay catalysts.</p>