Expedient Synthesis of Bis(imidazolium) Dichloride Salts and Bis(NHC) Complexes from Imidazoles using DMSO as a Key Polar Additive



A general approach for the synthesis of bis(imidazolium) dichloride salts from imidazoles and dichloroalkanes is reported. Typical limitations of this reaction for the formation of methylene-bridged derivatives are addressed herein through the use of an excess CH2Cl2 in the presence of DMSO as a polar cosolvent, significantly improving conversion rates presumably via stabilization of the initial SN2 transition state. The method was also shown to be applicable to the formation of bis(pyridinium) dichloride salts from pyridine derivatives, and to the direct synthesis of metal-bis(NHC) complexes from imidazoles.