A Broadly Applicable Strategy for Entry into Homogeneous Nickel(0) Catalysts from Air-Stable Nickel(II) Complexes

Organometallics 33(8) 2012-2018, DOI: 10.1021/om500156q

A series of air-stable nickel complexes of the form L2Ni(aryl) X (L = monodentate phosphine, X = Cl, Br) and LNi(aryl)X (L = bis-phosphine) have been synthesized and are presented as a library of precatalysts suitable for a wide variety of nickel-catalyzed transformations. These complexes are easily synthesized from low-cost NiCl2·6H2O or NiBr2·3H2O and the desired ligand followed by addition of 1 equiv of Grignard reagent. A selection of these complexes were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, and an analysis of their structural features is provided. A case study of their use as precatalysts for the nickel-catalyzed carbonyl-ene reaction is presented, showing superior reactivity in comparison to reactions using Ni(cod)2. Furthermore, as the precatalysts are all stable to air, no glovebox or inert-atmosphere techniques are required to make use of these complexes for nickel-catalyzed reactions.