Shifting Silicon with Boron Ligands

Shifting Silicon with Boron Ligands

Author: David Bradley

Sub-valent silicon compounds such as two-coordinate acyclic silylenes, SiR2, normally have a fleeting existence at around room temperature. Researchers at Oxford University, UK, and their colleagues at University College London, UK, and Monash University, Australia, have used the strong sigma-donor properties and high steric loading of their boron-based ligand to synthesize a two-coordinate acyclic silylene that is stable up to 130 °C.

The species undergoes oxidative addition reactions with dihydrogen as well as with alkyl C–H bonds. This, the researchers say, suggests a small singlet–triplet gap that hints at reactivity more characteristic of transition metal systems than organosilicon compounds.

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