Zerovalent palladium complexes are ubiquitous active species in modern cross-coupling reactions that comprise many premier methods for the construction of C–C and C–heteroatom bonds in organic synthesis. While palladium(0) complexes stabilized by two or more dative ligands are widely known, the most active form of Pd(0) coordinated by a single ancillary ligand (“monoligated Pd(0)”) has long eluded direct characterization. We report the synthesis and unambiguous solution- and solid-state characterization of functionally 12-electron Pd(0) complexes coordinated by a single tri(1-adamantyl)phosphine (PAd3) ligand. Access to these fleeting intermediates was achieved by enabling B-to-Pd transmetalation reactions that occur at cryogenic temperature. This work opens new avenues to experimentally interrogate highly reactive on-cycle Pd(0) catalysts and their structure-dependent reactivity and speciation, which should be broadly informative in continuing studies of catalytic processes featuring the prevalent Pd(0)/Pd(II) redox couple.
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