A nucleophilic gold complex.

Affiliation

Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. [Email]

Abstract

Solid-state auride salts featuring the negatively charged Au- ion are known to be stable in the presence of alkali metal counterions. While such electron-rich species might be expected to be nucleophilic (in the same manner as I-, for example), their instability in solution means that this has not been verified experimentally. Here we report a two-coordinate gold complex (NON)AlAuPtBu3 (where NON is the chelating tridentate ligand 4,5-bis(2,6-diisopropylanilido)-2,7-di-tert-butyl-9,9-dimethylxanthene) that features a strongly polarized bond, Auδ--Alδ+. This is synthesized by reaction of the potassium aluminyl compound [K{Al(NON)}]2 with tBu3PAuI. Computational studies of the complex, including quantum theory of atoms in molecules charge analysis, imply a charge at gold (-0.82) that is in line with the relative electronegativities of the two metals (Au: 2.54; Al: 1.61 on the Pauling scale). Consistently, the complex is found to act as a nucleophilic source of gold, reacting with diisopropylcarbodiimide and CO2 to give the Au-C bonded insertion products (NON)Al(X2C)AuPtBu3 (X = NiPr, 4; X = O, 5).

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