Accessing the main-group metal formyl scaffold through CO-activation in beryllium hydride complexes

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Date
2022
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Nature Portfolio
Abstract

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an indispensable C1 building block. For decades this abundant gas has been employed in hydroformylation and Pausen-Khand catalysis, amongst many related chemistries, where a single, non-coupled CO fragment is delivered to an organic molecule. Despite this, organometallic species which react with CO to yield C1 products remain rare, and are elusive for main group metal complexes. Here, we describe a range of amido-beryllium hydride complexes, and demonstrate their reactivity towards CO, in its mono-insertion into the Be-H bonds of these species. The small radius of the Be2+ ion in conjunction with the non-innocent pendant phosphine moiety of the developed ligands leads to a unique beryllium formyl complex with an ylidic P-C-CO fragment, whereby the carbon centre, remarkably, datively binds Be. This, alongside reactivity toward carbon dioxide, sheds light on the insertion chemistry of the Be-H bond, complimenting the long-known chemistry of the heavier Alkaline Earth hydrides. Stoichiometric carbon monoxide insertion processes leading to metal-formyl complexes are scarce, even for transition metals. Here, light is shed on the underexplored chemistry of beryllium hydrides leading to a stable example of a main group metal-formyl complex.

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Keywords
CO HOMOLOGATION, CARBON-MONOXIDE, SELECTIVE FORMATION, ACTIVATION, REDUCTION, REACTIVITY, CHEMISTRY, MECHANISM, BOND, Multidisciplinary Sciences
Citation
Hadlington, T. J., & Szilvási, T. (2022). Accessing the main-group metal formyl scaffold through CO-activation in beryllium hydride complexes. In Nature Communications (Vol. 13, Issue 1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28095-0