β-Diketiminato copper(I) complexes play important roles in bioinspired catalytic chemistry and in applications to the materials industry. However, it has been observed that these complexes are very susceptible to disproportionation. Coordinating solvents or Lewis bases are typically used to prevent disproportionation and to block the coordination sites of the copper(I) center from further decomposition. Here, we incorporate this coordination protection directly into the molecule in order to increase the stability and reactivity of these complexes and to discover new copper(I) binding motifs. Here we describe the synthesis, structural characterization, and reactivity of a series of unsymmetrical N-aryl-N′-alkylpyridyl β-diketiminato copper(I) complexes and discuss the structures and reactivity of these complexes with respect to the length of the pyridyl arm. All of the aforementioned unsymmetrical ß-diketiminato copper(I) complexes bind CO reversibly and are stable to disproportionation. The binding ability of CO and the rate of pyridyl ligand decoordination of these copper(I) complexes are directly related to the competition between the degree of puckering of the chelate system and the steric demands of the N-aryl substituent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry