Structurally defined potassium-mediated zincation of pyridine and 4-R-substituted pyridines (R = Et, iPr, tBu, Ph, and Me2N) by using dialkyl-tmp-zincate bases

W. Clegg, B. Conway, D.V. Graham, E. Hevia, A.R. Kennedy, R.E. Mulvey, L. Russo, D.S. Wright

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Two potassium-dialkyl-TMP-zincate bases [(pmdeta)K(mu-Et)(mu-tmp)Zn(Et)] (1) (PMDETA = N,N,N',N'',N''-pentamethyldiethylenetriamine, TMP = 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidide), and [(pmdeta)K(mu-nBu)(mu-tmp)Zn(nBu)] (2), have been synthesized by a simple co-complexation procedure. Treatment of 1 with a series of substituted 4-R-pyridines (R = Me(2)N, H, Et, iPr, tBu, and Ph) gave 2-zincated products of the general formula [{2-Zn(Et)(2)-mu-4-R-C(5)H(3)N}(2)2{K(pmdeta)}] (3-8, respectively) in isolated crystalline yields of 53, 16, 7, 23, 67, and 51%, respectively; the treatment of 2 with 4-tBu-pyridine gave [{2-Zn(nBu)(2)-mu-4-tBu-C(5)H(3)N}(2)2{K(pmdeta)}] (9) in an isolated crystalline yield of 58%. Single-crystal X-ray crystallographic and NMR spectroscopic characterization of 3-9 revealed a novel structural motif consisting of a dianionic dihydroanthracene-like tricyclic ring system with a central diazadicarbadizinca (ZnCN)(2) ring, face-capped on either side by PMDETA-wrapped K(+) cations. All the new metalated pyridine complexes share this dimeric arrangement. As determined by NMR spectroscopic investigations of the reaction filtrates, those solutions producing 3, 7, 8, and 9 appear to be essentially clean reactions, in contrast to those producing 4, 5, and 6, which also contain laterally zincated coproducts. In all of these metalation reactions, the potassium-zincate base acts as an amido transfer agent with a subsequent ligand-exchange mechanism (amido replacing alkyl) inhibited by the coordinative saturation, and thus, low Lewis acidity of the 4-coordinate Zn centers in these dimeric molecules. Studies on analogous trialkyl-zincate reagents in the absence and presence of stoichiometric or substoichiometric amounts of TMP(H) established the importance of Zn-N bonds for efficient zincation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7074-7082
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2009



  • alkali metals
  • metalation
  • potassium
  • pyridine
  • zincation

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