We report on a rare combination of an aluminum Lewis acid and a carbon Lewis base in the field of frustrated Lewis pair chemistry. A new class of hidden frustrated Lewis pairs consisting of a phosphorus ylide featuring an aluminum fragment in the ortho position of a phenyl ring scaffold is introduced. Although the formation of the Lewis acid/base adduct was observed in the solid state, the title compound readily reacts with ammonia under thermoneutral and reversible N–H bond splitting at ambient temperature. Furthermore, previously unprecedented NH3 transfer reactions mediated by a main group catalyst are presented.
Supporting Information: Section S1 – Experimental Details and NMR spectra of 1 – 3. Section S2 – Crystallographic details Section S3 – Computational details