Reactivity of electropositive f-block metal N-heterocyclic carbene complexes
Germeroth, Anne Inger
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The combination of Lewis acidic f-block metals and a labile nucleophilic carbene can be an excellent means to activate small molecules such as silanes, CO2 and other traditionally inert substrates. Furthermore, bidentate alkoxy-NHC ligands have shown promise in the support of unusual high oxidation state organometallic complexes, including examples of CeIV, PdIV and UVI. In this thesis the synthesis and reactivity of a series of f-block metal NHC complexes is described. Chapter One introduces N-heterocyclic carbenes and their f-block metal complexes, in particular of cerium, praseodymium and uranium. Furthermore, it will give an overview of small molecule activation by NHCs, lanthanides and specifically [Ce(LAr)N"], (L = OC(CH3)2CH2(CNCH2CH2NMes) the magnetic properties and use of lanthanides e.g. as single molecule magnets and oxo-functionalisation of the uranyl moiety. Chapter Two describes the addition-elimination reaction chemistry of CeIII and UIV NHC complexes in which polar reagents add in a heterocyclic fashion across the MNHC bond. It also describes the synthesis of the lithium salt of the alkoxycarbene proligand [LiLAr]4 and its reactivity towards f-element halide and aryloxide salts. A series of reactions to target the formation of metal-metal bonds is described. Chapter Three focuses on the synthesis of novel cerium and praseodymium complexes [Pr(LAr)N"2], [Pr(LAr)2N"], [Pr(OAr2,6-tBu)3] and [Ce(OAr2,6-tBu)3] and their reactivity towards oxidants. A series of alkoxide bridged lanthanide dimers [(Cl)Ce(μ- LAr)2Ce(Cl)2], [N"(LAr)Ce(μ-OAr2,6-tBu)OAr2,6- 2Ce(LAr)N"] and [N"(Cl)Pr(μ LAr)2Pr(Cl)N"] have been made and characterised including by SQUID variable temperature magnetometry. Chapter Four evaluates the synthesis and reactivity of uranyl complexes [UO2(LAr)2], [UO2N"2(py)2] and [UO2(OAr2,6-tBu)2(py)2], specifically their reactivity towards haloboranes in different solvents. Additionally, the oxo-functionalisation of uranyl compounds with haloboranes is discussed. Chapter Five draws conclusions and provides a summary of the work presented. Chapter Six comprises the experimental details and analytical data.