Mono(imidazolin-2-iminato) actinide complexes: Synthesis and application in the catalytic dimerization of aldehydes

Isabell S.R. Karmel, Natalia Fridman, Matthias Tamm*, Moris S. Eisen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The synthesis of the mono(imidazolin-2-iminato) actinide(IV) complexes [(ImRN)An(N{SiMe3)2}3] (3-8) was accomplished by the protonolysis reaction between the respective imidazolin-2-imine (ImRNH, R = tBu, Mes, Dipp) and the actinide metallacycles [{(Me3Si)N}2An{κ2C,N-CH2SiMe2N(SiMe3)}] (1, An = U; 2, M = Th). The thorium and uranium complexes were obtained in high yields, and their structures were established by single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. The mono(imidazolin-2-iminato) actinide complexes 3-8 display short An-N bonds together with large An-N-C angles, indicating strong electron donation from the imidazolin-2-iminato moiety to the metal, corroborating a substantial π-character to the An-N bond. The reactivity of complexes 3-8 toward benzaldehyde was studied in the catalytic dimerization of aldehydes (Tishchenko reaction), displaying low to moderate catalytic activities for the uranium complexes 3-5 and moderate to high catalytic activities for the thorium analogues 6-8, among which 8 exhibited the highest catalytic activity. In addition, actinide coordination compounds showed unprecedented reactivity toward cyclic and branched aliphatic aldehydes in the catalytic Tishchenko reaction mediated by the thorium complex [(ImDippN)Th{N(SiMe3)2}3] (8), exhibiting high activity even at room temperature. Moreover, complex 8 was successfully applied in the crossed Tishchenko reaction between an aromatic or polyaromatic and an aliphatic cyclic and branched aldehyde, yielding selectively the asymmetrically substituted ester in high yields (80-100%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17180-17192
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number49
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


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