Electric-Field-Induced Coupling of Aryl Iodides with a Nickel(0) Complex

14 July 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The influence of electric fields has been postulated as a major factor for rapid catalysis in enzymatic systems. Here, we show that external electric fields can modulate the reactivity of an otherwise kinetically inert transition metal complex to affect a coupling reaction. An air-stable nickel(0) complex is demonstrated to exhibit no reactivity towards the oxidative addition of aryl iodides at room temperature. However, when an external electric field was applied to this reaction solution with a scanning tunneling microscope, the biaryl coupling product was detected in-situ through single-molecule conductance measurements and ex-situ through high-resolution mass spectrometry. These results highlight the importance of electric field effects in reaction chemistry, and demonstrate the application of STM studies towards electric field induced organometallic transformations.


Electric field
Coupling reaction
Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Supplementary materials

Supplementary information includes materials and methods, experimental techniques, and additional experimental data.


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