Inorganic Chemistry

A magnesium catalyst to form B-N bonds

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Science  09 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6257, pp. 174-175
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6257.174-d

Boron and nitrogen pair up often in chemistry. Notable examples of that pairing include the classic ammonia borane adduct H3N-BH3; the hexagonal borazine, with alternating BH and NH groups; and the simple boron nitride BN, rivalling graphene in its exotic emerging two-dimensional properties. It may come as a surprise that not all B-N bonds are straightforward to make. Liptrot et al. report a magnesium catalyst that forms an underrepresented class of compounds linking amines to boron centers bearing two carbon or two oxygen bonds (R2N-BR'2) via release of H2. Specifically, the reaction is demonstrated for pinacolborane and 9-borabicyclononane with a variety of primary and secondary amines. Kinetics studies reveal intriguingly distinct mechanisms for each boron substrate.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 10.1002/anie.201505949 (2015).

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