CuI(NHC)Br complexes (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbene) undergo a direct reaction with iodobenzene to give 2-arylated benzimidazolium products. The nature of the N-substituent on the NHC ligand influences the reactivity of the CuI(NHC)Br complex toward arylation. N-Benzyl or N-phenyl substituents facilitate arylation, whereas N-mesityl substituents hinder arylation. Density functional theory calculations show that an oxidative addition/reductive elimination pathway involving CuIII species is energetically feasible. A less hindered CuI(NHC)Br complex with N-benzyl groups is susceptible to oxidation reactions to give 1,3-dibenzylbenzimidazolium cations containing a CuIBr anion (various polymorphs). The results described herein are of relevance to C-H functionalization of (benz)azoles. (Chemical Equation Presented).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry