Three oxidative addition routes of alkali metal aluminyls to dihydroaluminates and reactivity with CO2

Sumanta Banerjee, Gerd M. Ballmann, Matthew J. Evans, Andrea O'Reilly, Alan R. Kennedy, J. Robin Fulton, Martyn P. Coles, Robert E. Mulvey

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Three distinct routes are reported to the soluble, dihydridoaluminate compounds, AM[Al(NONDipp)(H)2] (AM = Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs; [NONDipp]2– = [O(SiMe2NDipp)2]2–; Dipp = 2,6-iPr2C6H3) starting from the alkali metal aluminyls, AM[Al(NONDipp)]. Direct H2 hydrogenation of the heavier analogues (AM = Rb, Cs) produced the first examples of structurally characterized rubidium and caesium dihydridoaluminates, although harsh conditions were required for complete conversion. Using 1,4-cyclohexadiene (1,4-CHD) as an alternative hydrogen source in transfer hydrogenation reactions provided a lower energy pathway to the full series of products for AM = Li – Cs. A further moderation in conditions was noted for the thermal decomposition of the (silyl)(hydrido)aluminates, AM[Al(NONDipp)(H)(SiH2Ph)]. Probing the reaction of Cs[Al(NONDipp)] with 1,4-CHD provided access to a novel inverse sandwich complex, [{Cs(Et2O)}2{Al(NONDipp)(H)}2(C6H6)], containing the 1,4-dialuminated [C6H6]2– dianion and representing the first time that an intermediate in the commonly utilized oxidation process of 1,4-CHD to benzene has been trapped. The synthetic utility of the newly installed Al–H bonds has been demonstrated by their ability to reduce CO2 under mild conditions to form the bis-formate AM[Al(NONDipp)(O2CH)2] compounds, which exhibit a diverse series of eyecatching bimetallacyclic structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202301849
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number56
Early online date10 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2023


  • alkali-metals
  • dihydridoaluminates
  • Meisenheimer intermediate
  • oxidative addition
  • CO2 reduction


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