A series of PNP zinc pincer complexes capable of bond activation via aromatization/dearomatization metal-ligand cooperation (MLC) were prepared and characterized. Reversible heterolytic N-H and H-H bond activation by MLC is shown, in which hemilability of the phosphorus linkers plays a key role. Utilizing this zinc pincer system, base-free catalytic hydrogenation of imines and ketones is demonstrated. A detailed mechanistic study supported by computation implicates the key role of MLC in facilitating effective catalysis. This approach offers a new strategy for (de)hydrogenation and other catalytic transformations mediated by zinc and other main group metals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry