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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Jun 30;132(25):8542-3. doi: 10.1021/ja103130u.

N-H activation of amines and ammonia by Ru via metal-ligand cooperation.

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  • 1Department of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


A nonoxidative addition pathway for the activation of NH bonds of ammonia and amines by a Ru(II) complex is reported. The pincer complex 1 cleaves N-H bonds via metal-ligand cooperation involving aromatization of the pincer ligand without a change in the formal oxidation state of the metal. Electron-rich N-H bond substrates lead to reversible activation, while electron-poor substrates result in stable activation products. Isotopic labeling studies using ND(3) as well as density functional theory calculations were used to shed light on the N-H activation mechanism.

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