B-Methylated Amine-Boranes: Substituent Redistribution, Catalytic Dehydrogenation, and Facile Metal-Free Hydrogen Transfer Reactions

Naomi E. Stubbs, André Schäfer, Alasdair P M Robertson, Erin M. Leitao, Titel Jurca, Hazel A. Sparkes, Christopher H. Woodall, Mairi F. Haddow, Ian Manners*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Although the dehydrogenation chemistry of amine-boranes substituted at nitrogen has attracted considerable attention, much less is known about the reactivity of their B-substituted analogues. When the B-methylated amine-borane adducts, RR'NH·BH2Me (1a: R = R' = H; 1b: R = Me, R' = H; 1c: R = R' = Me; 1d: R = R' = iPr), were heated to 70 °C in solution (THF or toluene), redistribution reactions were observed involving the apparent scrambling of the methyl and hydrogen substituents on boron to afford a mixture of the species RR'NH·BH3-xMex (x = 0-3). These reactions were postulated to arise via amine-borane dissociation followed by the reversible formation of diborane intermediates and adduct reformation. Dehydrocoupling of 1a-1d with Rh(I), Ir(III), and Ni(0) precatalysts in THF at 20 °C resulted in an array of products, including aminoborane RR'N=BHMe, cyclic diborazane [RR'N-BHMe]2, and borazine [RN-BMe]3 based on analysis by in situ 11B NMR spectroscopy, with peak assignments further supported by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Significantly, very rapid, metal-free hydrogen transfer between 1a and the monomeric aminoborane, iPr2N=BH2, to yield iPr2NH·BH3 (together with dehydrogenation products derived from 1a) was complete within only 10 min at 20 °C in THF, substantially faster than for the N-substituted analogue MeNH2·BH3. DFT calculations revealed that the hydrogen transfer proceeded via a concerted mechanism through a cyclic six-membered transition state analogous to that previously reported for the reaction of the N-dimethyl species Me2NH·BH3 and iPr2N=BH2. However, as a result of the presence of an electron donating methyl substituent on boron rather than on nitrogen, the process was more thermodynamically favorable and the activation energy barrier was reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10878-10889
Number of pages12
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2015

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