Reactions of β-diketiminato magnesium and calcium hydrides with 1 atm of CO result in a reductive coupling process to produce the corresponding derivatives of the cis-ethenediolate dianion. Computational (DFT) analysis of this process mediated by Ca, Sr, and Ba highlights a common mechanism and a facility for the reaction that is enhanced by increasing alkaline earth atomic weight. Reaction of CO with PhSiH3 in the presence of the magnesium or calcium hydrides results in catalytic reduction to methylsilane and methylene silyl ether products, respectively. These reactions are proposed to ensue via the interception of initially formed group 2 formyl intermediates, an inference which is confirmed by a DFT analysis of the magnesium-centered reaction. The computational results identify the rate-determining process, requiring traversal of a 33.9 kcal mol-1 barrier, as a Mg-H/C-O σ-bond metathesis reaction, associated with the ultimate cleavage of the C-O bond. The carbonylation reactivity is extended to a variety of magnesium and calcium amides. With primary amido complexes, which for calcium include a derivative of the parent [NH2]- anion, CO insertion is facile and ensues with subsequent nitrogen-to-carbon migration of hydrogen to yield a variety of dinuclear and, in one case, trinuclear formamidate species. The generation of initial carbenic carbamoyl intermediates is strongly implicated through the isolation of the CO insertion product of a magnesium N-methylanilide derivative. These observations are reinforced by a DFT analysis of the calcium-centered reaction with aniline, which confirms the exothermicity of the formamidate formation (ΔH = -67.7 kcal mol-1). Stoichiometric reduction of the resultant magnesium and calcium formamidates with pinacolborane results in the synthesis of the corresponding N-borylated methylamines. This takes place via a sequence of reactions initiated through the generation of amidatohydridoborate intermediates and a cascade of reactivity that is analogous to that previously reported for the deoxygenative hydroboration of organic isocyanates catalyzed by the same magnesium hydride precatalyst. Although a sequence of amine formylation and deoxygenation may be readily envisaged for the catalytic utilization of CO as a C1 source in the production of methylamines, our observations demonstrate that competitive amine-borane dehydrocoupling is too facile under the conditions of 1 atm of CO employed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry