Sodium dialkyl-amidozincates: Alkyl or amido bases? An experimental and theoretical case study

Andrikopoulos, P.C. and Armstrong, D.R. and Barley, H.R.L. and Clegg, W. and Dale, S.H. and Hevia, E. and Honeyman, G.W. and Kennedy, A.R. and Mulvey, R.E. (2005) Sodium dialkyl-amidozincates: Alkyl or amido bases? An experimental and theoretical case study. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 127 (17). pp. 6184-6185. ISSN 0002-7863 (

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Alkali metal zincate reagents are attracting considerable attention at present in respect to their often special reactivity/selectivity in hydrogen-metal and halogen-metal interconversion reactions. Heteroleptic diorgano-amidozincates, typified by lithium di-tert-butyltetramethylpiperidinozincate, have proved to be especially useful reagents in such applications. In this paper the related sodium TMP-zincate, prepared as its TMEDA (N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine) adduct, [TMEDA·Na(-tBu)(-TMP)Zn(tBu)], 1, is introduced. This new zincate was synthesized from a 1:1:1 mixture of tBu2Zn, NaTMP, and TMEDA in hexane solution, as a colorless crystalline solid in an isolated yield of 58%. It has been characterized in solution by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopic studies. An X-ray crystallographic study reveals that 1 adopts a five-membered (NaNZnCC) ring system featuring a TMP bridge and an unusual, asymmetrical tBu bridge involving a Na···Me agostic contact. Probing the basicity of 1, reaction with benzene affords the new hetero(tri)leptic zincate [TMEDA·Na(-Ph)(-TMP)Zn(tBu)], 2, which has also been crystallographically characterized. Thus, in this hydrogen-metal exchange reaction 1 functions as an alkyl base, with the elimination of butane, as opposed to an amido base. Also reported are DFT calculations using B3LYP functionals and the 6-311G** basis set on model zincate systems, which intimate that the preference of 1 for tBu ligand transfer over TMP ligand transfer in the reaction toward benzene is due to favorable thermodynamic factors.