Reversible Alkene Binding and Allylic C–H Activation with an Aluminum(I) Complex

29 October 2018, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Reversible alkene binding to a low-valent main group complex is documented. The reaction involves an aluminium(I) reagent and includes both terminal and strained alkenes. This reversible binding event is just a forerunner to non-reversible C–H activation of the allylic position of the alkene. Mechanistic analysis shows that in contrast to common transition metal systems, the C–H activation does not proceed from a metal bound alkene complex. Dissociation of the alkene and reformation of the aluminium(I) fragment is required to liberate the active site and frontier molecular orbitals involved in C–H activation.


Main Group
Redox Catalysis
C–H activation

Supplementary materials

Al alkenes SI 17th ChemRxiv


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