Ligand Redox Activity of Organonickel Radical Complexes Governed by the Geometry

Gregory A. Dawson, Qiao Lin, Michelle C. Neary, Tianning Diao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions often employ bidentate π-acceptor N-ligands to facilitate radical pathways. This report presents the synthesis and characterization of a series of organonickel radical complexes supported by bidentate N-ligands, including bpy, phen, and pyrox, which are commonly proposed and observed intermediates in catalytic reactions. Through a comparison of relevant analogues, we have established an empirical rule governing the electronic structures of these nickel radical complexes. The N-ligands exhibit redox activity in four-coordinate, square-planar nickel radical complexes, leading to the observation of ligand-centered radicals. In contrast, these ligands do not display redox activity when supporting three-coordinate, trigonal planar nickel radical complexes, which are better described as nickel-centered radicals. This trend holds true irrespective of the nature of the actor ligands. These results provide insights into the beneficial effect of coordinating salt additives and solvents in stabilizing nickel radical intermediates during catalytic reactions by modulating the redox activity of the ligands. Understanding the electronic structures of these active intermediates can contribute to the development and optimization of nickel catalysts for cross-coupling reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20551-20561
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 20 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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