A novel approach towards intermolecular stabilization of para-quinone methides. First complexation of the elusive, simplest quinone methide, 4-methylene-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-one

Oded Rabin, Arkadi Vigalok, David Milstein

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21 Citations (Scopus)


A novel approach towards the intermolecular stabilization of "simple" (i.e. methylene-unsubstituted) p-quinone methides (QMs) by their coordination to a transition-metal center is described. 4-Bromomethyl phenols, protected by a silyl group, were employed as the QM precursors and cis-chelating diphosphine Pd0 complexes were chosen as the metal precursors, since they have strong back-bonding interactions with the electron-poor QM moiety. Removal of the silyl protecting-group from the corresponding [LPd(benzyl)Br] complex (L=bisphosphine) with fluoride results in the spontaneous rearrangement of the unobserved zwitterionic PdII complex into the QM-Pd0 complex. The feasibility of this approach was demonstrated in the synthesis of the structurally characterized Pd0 complex of BHT-QM (4), a biologically relevant metabolite of 2,6-di-tert-butyl-p-cresol, and the synthesis of the complex of 4-methylene-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-one (11), the simplest, and so far unobserved QM molecule. These complexes exhibit a remarkable thermal stability and do not react with alcohol or water. In both cases, the use of an appropriate incoming ligand allowed the release of the coordinated QM into the reaction media in which it was effectively trapped by added nucleophiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-462
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 4 2000



  • Ligand exchange reactions
  • P ligands
  • Palladium
  • Quinone methides
  • Synthesis design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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