Reversible Modulation of the Electronic and Spatial Environment around Ni(0) Centers Bearing Multifunctional Carbene Ligands with Triarylaluminum

18 May 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Designing and modulating the electronic and spatial environment surrounding metal centers is a crucial issue in a wide range of chemistry fields that use organometallic compounds. Herein, we demonstrate a Lewis-acid-mediated reversible expansion, contraction, and transformation of the spatial environment surrounding nickel(0) centers that bear N-phosphine oxide-substituted N-heterocyclic carbenes (henceforth referred to as (S)PoxIms). Reaction between trigonal-planar (syn-k-C,O-(S)PoxIm)Ni(CO)2 and Al(C6F5)3 smoothly afforded heterobimetallic Ni/Al species such as tetrahedral {k-C-Ni(CO)2}(u-anti-(S)PoxIm){k-O-Al(C6F5)3} via a complexation-induced rotation of the N-phosphine oxide moieties, while the addition of 4-dimethylaminopyridine resulted in the quantitative regeneration of the former Ni complex. The shape and size of the space around the Ni(0) center was drastically changed through this Lewis-acid-mediated interconversion. Moreover, the multinuclear NMR, IR, and XAS analyses clarified the details of the changes in the electronic states on the Ni centers. The results presented in this work thus provide a strategy for reversibly modulating the electronic and spatial environment of organometallic complexes, in addition to the well-accepted Lewis-base-mediated ligand-substitution methods.


Lewis acids
N-heterocyclic carbenes
multifunctional ligands
X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Experimental details and spectra


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