Intermolecular hydroamination of terminal alkynes catalyzed by organoactinide complexes. Scope and mechanistic studies

Thomas Straub, Ariel Haskel, Tal Gueta Neyroud, Moshe Kapon, Mark Botoshansky, Moris S. Eisen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


Organoactinide complexes of the type Cp*2AnMe2 (An = Th, U) have been found to be efficient catalysts for the hydroamination of terminal alkynes with aliphatic primary amines. The chemoselectivity and regioselectivity of the reactions depend strongly on the nature of the catalyst and the nature of the amine and show no major dependence on the nature of the alkyne. The hydroamination reaction of the terminal alkynes with aliphatic primary amines catalyzed by the organouranium complexes produces the corresponding imines where the amine and the alkyne are regioselectivity disposed in a syn-regiochemistry, whereas for similar reactions with the organothorium complex besides the methyl alkylated imine, dimeric and trimeric alkyne oligomers are also produced. For (TMS)C≡CH and EtNH2 both organoactinides produced by the same imine compounds when the reaction is carried out in THF or toluene. In benzene, both imines E and Z (TMS)CH2CHN=Et are obtained, the earlier undergo, a 1,3-silyl Brook sigmatropic rearrangement toward the enamine, whereas the latter remains unchanged. Mechanistic studies on the hydroamination of (TMS)C≡CH and EtNH2 promoted by the organouranium complex show that the first step in the catalytic reaction is the formation of the bis(amido) complex, found in equilibrium with the corresponding bisamido-amine complex, which loses an amine, yielding a uranium-imido complex. Insertion of the alkyne into the imido bond with subsequent amine protonolysis, isomerization, and product release comprise the primary steps in the catalytic cycle. The kinetic rate law was found to follow an inverse kinetic order in amine, a first order in complex, and a zero order in alkyne, with ΔH‡ = 11.7(3) kcal mol-1, ΔS‡ = -44.5(8) eu. The turnover-limiting step is the release of an amine from the bisamido complex yielding the imido complex. The key organoactinide intermediate for the intermolecular hydroamination reaction was found to be the corresponding actinide-imido complexes. For both actinides the complexes have been characterized, and for thorium the single-crystal X-ray diffraction was studied. A plausible mechanistic scenario is proposed for the hydroamination of terminal alkynes and aliphatic primary amines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5017-5035
Number of pages19
Issue number24
StatePublished - 26 Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


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