Precursors of the pincer-ligated iridium species, (PCP)Ir, react with nitrobenzene or acetophenone at ambient temperature to give O,C-chelated complexes resulting from addition of an aryl C-H bond and coordination of a nitro or acetyl oxygen. The C-H additions appear to be completely regioselective for the position ortho to the functional group; however, structural characterization and low-temperature NMR studies demonstrate that the reaction does not proceed via coordination of the functional group followed by C-H addition. In the case of nitrobenzene, kinetic preference for the para and meta positions is demonstrated at low temperature. Addition occurs more slowly at the ortho position, without assistance by the functional group; the ortho-C-H addition product is then trapped by chelation.
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