Carbon-carbon bond activation of R-CN (R = Me, Ar, iPr, tBu) using a cationic Rh(III) complex.

Journal of the American Chemical Society

PubMedID: 11960431

Taw FL, White PS, Bergman RG, Brookhart M. Carbon-carbon bond activation of R-CN (R = Me, Ar, iPr, tBu) using a cationic Rh(III) complex. J Am Chem Soc. 2002;124(16):4192-3.
Addition of 1.0 equiv of Ph3SiH to [Cp*(PMe3)Rh(Me)(CH2Cl2)]+BAr'4- (1) resulted in release of methane and quantitative formation of [Cp*(PMe3)Rh(SiPh3)(CH2Cl2)]+BAr'4- (2). Subsequent addition of 1.0 equiv of MeCN to 2 caused immediate displacement of dichloromethane to form the eta1-nitrile adduct [Cp*(PMe3)Rh(SiPh3)(NCMe)]+BAr'4- (3). Upon standing at room-temperature overnight, complex 3 converted quantitatively to another product which has been characterized as the C-C activation product, [Cp*(PMe3)Rh(Me)(CNSiPh3)]+BAr'4- (5). Addition of other nitrile substrates (R-CN, R = Ph, (4-CF3)Ph, (4-MeO)Ph, iPr, tBu) to 2 also resulted in C-C activation of the R-CN bond to form [Cp*(PMe3)Rh(R)(CNSiPh3)]+BAr'4-. Evidence for an eta2-iminoacyl intermediate complex, [Cp*(PMe3)Rh(eta2-C(R)=N(SiPh3)]+BAr'4-, is also presented.