N-Heterocycle-Ligated Borocations as Highly Tunable Carbon Lewis Acids

James E. Radcliffe, Jay J. Dunsford, Jessica Cid, Valerio Fasano, Michael J. Ingleson*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

17 Citations (Scopus)


The relative (to BEt3) hydride ion affinity (HIA) of a series of acridine borenium salts has been calculated, with some HIAs found to be similar to that for [Ph3C]+. The HIA at the acridine C9 position is controlled by both acridine and the boron substituents, the latter presumably affecting the strength of the B=N bond in the acridane-BY2 products from hydride transfer. Through a range of hydride abstraction benchmarking reactions against organic hydride donors the experimental HIA of [F5acr-BCat]+ (cat = catechol, F5acr = 1,2,3,4,7-pentafluoroacridine) has been confirmed to be extremely high and closely comparable to that of [Ph3C]+. The high HIA of [F5acr-BCat]+ enables H2 and alkene activation in a FLP with 2,6-di-tert-butylpyridine. Finally, the HIA of pyridine and quinoline borenium cations has been determined, with the HIA at boron in [PinB(amine)]+ (pin = pinacol, amine = pyridine or quinoline) found to be relatively low. This enabled the hydroboration of pyridine and quinoline by HBPin to be achieved through the addition of 5-10 mol % of bench-stable cationic carbon Lewis acids such as 2-phenyl-N,N-dimethylimidazolium salts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4952-4960
Number of pages9
Issue number24
Early online date8 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2017


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