Magnesium catalysis of imine hydroboration

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The β-diketiminato magnesium alkyl complex [LMgnBu] (L=CH{CMe(NDipp)}, Dipp=diisopropylphenyl) is shown to be a highly effective precatalyst for the hydroboration of alkyl and aryl substituted aldimines and ketimines with pinacol borane (HBpin). Catalysis is proposed to occur through a sequence of Mg-N/B-H metathesis and rate-determining Mg-H/N=C insertion steps, a proposal strongly supported by stoichiometric studies and kinetic analysis. The reactions are observed to proceed through the intermediacy of well-defined magnesium amides, two examples of which have been isolated and structurally characterized. Mechanistic investigations suggest that the catalytic rate-determining process occurs at an isolated magnesium center and requires the presence of two molecules of the imine substrate for effective turnover. This latter observation is rationalized as a requirement for the secondary substrate molecule to displace HBpin from the coordination sphere of the catalytic magnesium center.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2776-2783
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number8
Early online date10 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2013


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