Synthetic, mechanistic, and computational investigations of nitrile-alkyne cross-metathesis

Journal of the American Chemical Society
Andrea M GeyerJeff W Kampf


The terminal nitride complexes NW(OC(CF 3) 2Me) 3(DME) ( 1-DME), [Li(DME) 2][NW(OC(CF 3) 2Me) 4] ( 2), and [NW(OCMe 2CF 3) 3] 3 ( 3) were prepared in good yield by salt elimination from [NWCl 3] 4. X-ray structures revealed that 1-DME and 2 are monomeric in the solid state. All three complexes catalyze the cross-metathesis of 3-hexyne with assorted nitriles to form propionitrile and the corresponding alkyne. Propylidyne and substituted benzylidyne complexes RCW(OC(CF 3) 2Me) 3 were isolated in good yield upon reaction of 1-DME with 3-hexyne or 1-aryl-1-butyne. The corresponding reactions failed for 3. Instead, EtCW(OC(CF 3)Me 2) 3 ( 6) was prepared via the reaction of W 2(OC(CF 3)Me 2) 6 with 3-hexyne at 95 degrees C. Benzylidyne complexes of the form ArCW(OC(CF 3)Me 2) 3 (Ar = aryl) then were prepared by treatment of 6 with the appropriate symmetrical alkyne ArCCAr. Three coupled cycles for the interconversion of 1-DME with the corresponding propylidyne and benzylidyne complexes via [2 + 2] cycloaddition-cycloreversion were examined for reversibility. Stoichiometric reactions revealed that both nitrile-alkyne cross-metathesis (NACM) cycles as well as the alkyne cross-metathesis (ACM) cycle operated reversibly in this system. W...Continue Reading


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