Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hollis, T. Keith

Committee Member

Montiel-Palma, Virginia

Committee Member

Webster, Charles Edwin

Committee Member

Cui, Xin

Committee Member

Creutz, Sidney

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


N-Heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) have attracted growing interest not only as successful ancillary ligands in a wide variety of transition-metal-catalyzed reactions but have also shown to offer photophysical and electrochemical properties. The metalation/transmetalation strategy using [Zr(NMe2)4] as initial metalating reagent offers an efficient approach to the preparation of CCC-NHC pincer complexes of the late transition metals such as Rh and Ir. In the process of investigating an intermediate and the mechanism of the metalation/transmetalation to Rh sequence, a mixed valent bimetallic CCC-NHC pincer Rh complex with two chloro ligands bridged between a [(CCC-NHC)Rh(III)] and a [Rh(I)(COD)] fragment was isolated and fully characterized for the first time. The investigation of the Rh(III)/Rh(I) bimetallic intermediate in the CCC-NHC pincer metalation/transmetalation methodology led to an improved stoichiometric synthesis of series of CCC-NHC pincer Rh complexes. The CCC-NHC pincer Rh complexes were characterized with 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, ESI-TOF MS and single crystal X-ray diffraction. The catalytic activity of the series of CCC-NHC pincer Rh complexes were evaluated. All the CCC-NHC pincer Rh precatalysts were found to promote the dehydrogenative silylation of vinylarenes with Et3SiH to form the corresponding (E)-vinylsilanes as the major silylation product under solvent-free conditions. The catalytic system displays wide substrate scope. Electron rich and electron deficient vinylarenes were well tolerated affording the corresponding vinyl silanes in good yields (65-86%). Mechanistic investigations indicated that Rh(III) center was responsible for the catalytic performance. The CCC-NHC pincer ligand architecture plays a role in achieving good regio- and stereoselectivities. Also, the complexes were evaluated as precatalysts towards hydrosilylation of aryl- and alkyl alkenes. The precatalysts, [(BuCiCiCBu)RhCl(µ-Cl)2Rh(COD)] and [(BuCiCiCBu)RhCl(µ-Cl)]2, were found to promote highly regioselective anti-Markovnikov hydrosilylation of aryl- and alkyl alkenes with excellent selectivity (>99%) using Et3SiH or PhMe2SiH as silane source and acetonitrile as solvent. Straight chain alkyl alkenes were tolerated without undergoing isomerization as it is the case with most known hydrosilylation catalyst systems. We extended the improved stoichiometric metalation/transmetalation methodology towards the synthesis of 1,3-di(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)benzene-based pincer Rh complexes. A series of 1,1'-(1,3-phenylene)bis(4-hexyl-1H-1,2,4-triazol-4-ium) salts were synthesized. Metalation/transmetalation of 1,1'-(1,3-phenylene)bis(4-hexyl-1H-1,2,4-triazol-4-ium) diiodide salt was successfully demonstrated to synthesize novel triazole-based CCC-NHC pincer Rh complexes.