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Chemistry. 2011 May 23;17(22):6248-55. doi: 10.1002/chem.201003317. Epub 2011 Apr 18.

C-H activation versus yttrium-methyl cation formation from [Y(AlMe4)3] induced by cyclic polynitrogen bases: solvent and substituent-size effects.

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Fakultät für Chemie, Lehrstuhl für Anorganische Chemie und Strukturchemie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


The reaction of 1,3,5-triisopropyl-1,3,5-triazacyclohexane (TiPTAC) with [Y(AlMe(4))(3)] resulted in the formation of [(TiPTAC)Y(Me(3)AlCH(2)AlMe(3))(μ-MeAlMe(3))] by C-H activation and methane extrusion. In contrast, the presence of bulkier cyclohexyl groups on the nitrogen atoms in 1,3,5-tricyclohexyl-1,3,5-triazacyclohexane (TCyTAC) led to the formation of the cationic dimethyl complex [(TCyTAC)(2)YMe(2)][AlMe(4)]. The investigations reveal a dependency of the reaction mechanism on the steric bulk of the N-alkyl entity and the solvent employed. In toluene C-H activation was observed in reactions of [Y(AlMe(4))(3)] with 1,3,5-trimethyl-1,3,5-triazacyclohexane (TMTAC) and TiPTAC. In THF molecular dimethyl cations, such as [(TCyTAC)(2)YMe(2)][AlMe(4)], [(TMTAC)(2)YMe(2)][AlMe(4)] and [(TiPTAC)(2)YMe(2)][AlMe(4)], could be synthesised by addition of the triazacyclohexane at a later stage. The THF-solvated complex [YMe(2)(thf)(5)][AlMe(4)] could be isolated and represents an intermediate in these reactions. It shows that cationic methyl complexes of the rare-earth metals can be formed by donor-induced cleavage of the rare-earth-metal tetramethylaluminates. The compounds were characterised by single-crystal X-ray diffraction or multinuclear and variable-temperature NMR spectroscopy, as well as elemental analyses. Variable-temperature NMR spectroscopy illustrates the methyl group exchange processes between the cations and anions in solution.


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