2018 Volume 76 Issue 11 Pages 1223-1231
This account focuses on the synthesis and reactivity of the diborane(4) compounds, pinB-BMes2 and B2(o-tol)4 (pin = pinacolato, Mes = 2,4,6-Me3C6H2, o-tol = 2-MeC6H4), which have been recently reported by the author’s group. Both compounds exhibit higher Lewis acidity than the most common diborane(4) B2pin2, which is due to the overlapping vacant p-orbitals of the two boron atoms. As a result, pinB-BMes2 and B2(o-tol)4 exhibit a peculiar reactivity toward multiple bond compounds and small molecules such as CO, isocyanides, alkynes, nitriles, pyridine, and H2. DFT calculations revealed that the combination of the high electrophilicity of these diborane(4)s, which facilitates the complexation of weak nucleophiles, and the reactive B-B bonding electrons should be responsible for the observed unique reactivity.