Electrochemical C-H bond activation: Via cationic iridium hydride pincer complexes

Brian M. Lindley, Andrew G. Walden, Ann Marie Brasacchio, Andrea Casuras, Nicholas Lease, Chun Hsing Chen, Alan S. Goldman, Alexander J.M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A C-H bond activation strategy based on electrochemical activation of a metal hydride is introduced. Electrochemical oxidation of (tBu4PCP)IrH4 (tBu4PCP is [1,3-(tBu2PCH2)-C6H3]-) in the presence of pyridine derivatives generates cationic Ir hydride complexes of the type [(tBu4PCP)IrH(L)]+ (where L = pyridine, 2,6-lutidine, or 2-phenylpyridine). Facile deprotonation of [(tBu4PCP)IrH(2,6-lutidine)]+ with the phosphazene base tert-butylimino-tris(pyrrolidino)phosphorane, tBuP1(pyrr), results in selective C-H activation of 1,2-difluorobenzene (1,2-DFB) solvent to generate (tBu4PCP)Ir(H)(2,3-C6F2H3). The overall electrochemical C-H activation reaction proceeds at room temperature without need for chemical activation by a sacrificial alkene hydrogen acceptor. This rare example of undirected electrochemical C-H activation holds promise for the development of future catalytic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9326-9330
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Science
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this

Lindley, B. M., Walden, A. G., Brasacchio, A. M., Casuras, A., Lease, N., Chen, C. H., Goldman, A. S., & Miller, A. J. M. (2019). Electrochemical C-H bond activation: Via cationic iridium hydride pincer complexes. Chemical Science, 10(40), 9326-9330. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9sc03076j