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    ABSTRACT: Victor Grignard's Nobel Prize-winning preparation of organomagnesium halides (Grignard reagents) marked the formal beginning of organometallic chemistry with alkaline earth metals. Further development of this invaluable synthetic route, RX+Mg→RMgX, with the heavier alkaline earth metals (Ca and Sr) was hampered by limitations in synthetic methodologies. Moreover, the lack of suitable ligands for stabilizing the reactive target molecules, particularly with the more electropositive Ca and Sr, was another obstacle. The absence in the literature, until just recently, of fundamental alkaline earth metal complexes with M-H, M-F, and M-OH (where M is the Group 2 metal Mg, Ca, or Sr) bonds amenable for organometallic reactions is remarkable. The progress in isolating various unstable compounds of p-block elements with β-diketiminate ligands was recently applied to Group 2 chemistry. The monoanionic β-diketiminate ligands are versatile tools for addressing synthetic challenges, as amply demonstrated with alkaline earth complexes: the synthesis and structural characterization of soluble β-diketiminatocalcium hydroxide, β-diketiminatostrontium hydroxide, and β-diketiminatocalcium fluoride are just a few examples of our contribution to this area of research. To advance the chemistry beyond synthesis, we have investigated the reactivity and potential for applications of these species, for example, through the demonstration of dip coating surfaces with CaCO(3) and CaF(2) with solutions of the calcium hydroxide and calcium fluoride complexes, respectively. In this Account, we summarize some recent developments in alkaline earth metal complex chemistry, particularly of Mg, Ca, and Sr, through the utilization of β-diketiminate ligands. We focus on results generated in our laboratory but give due mention to work from other groups as well. We also highlight the closely related chemistry of the Group 12 element Zn, as well as the important chemistry developed by other groups using the complexes we have reported. Although Mg and Ca are more abundant in living organisms, no other metal has as many biological functions as Zn. Thus Zn, the nontoxic alternative to the heavier Group 12 elements Cd and Hg, occupies a unique position ripe for further exploration.
    Accounts of Chemical Research 03/2011; 44(3):157-70. · 24.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Silylamide [Ba{N(SiHMe2)2}2]n reacts with 1,10-phenanthroline (Phen) in toluene to give the donor adduct [Ba{N(SiHMe2)2}2(Phen)]2. X-ray structure analysis revealed a dimeric solid-state structure with two bridging silylamido ligands and Ba···SiH β-agostic interactions, which are most pronounced for the terminal silylamido ligands. Treatment of [Ba{N(SiHMe2)2}2]n with GaMe3 did not lead to the isolation of putative Lewis acid adduct [Ba(μ-{N(SiHMe2)2})(μ-Me)(GaMe2)] but resulted in the soluble, low aggregated barium oxo complex [Ba(μ4-O)(GaMe3)2(toluene)]2, which is reminiscent of inverse crown ethers.
    Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 01/2012; 2012(1). · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reaction of the aluminum hydroxide LAl(OH)[C(Ph)CH(Ph)] (1, L = HC[(CMe)(NAr)](2), Ar = 2,6-iPr(2)C(6)H(3)) with Y(CH(2)SiMe(3))(3)(THF)(2) yielded the oxo-bridged heterobimetallic yttrium dialkyl complex LAl[C(Ph)CH(Ph)](μ-O)Y(CH(2)SiMe(3))(2)(THF)(2) (2). Alkane elimination reaction of 2 with 2-(imino)pyrrole [NN]H ([NN]H = 2-(ArN═CH)-5-tBuC(4)H(2)NH) afforded the yttrium monoalkyl complex LAl[C(Ph)CH(Ph)] (μ-O)Y(CH(2)SiMe(3))[NN](THF)(2) (5). Alternatively, 5 can be prepared in high yield by reaction of 1 with [NN]Y(CH(2)SiMe(3))(2)(THF)(2) (3). The analogous samarium alkyl complex LAl[C(Ph)CH(Ph)](μ-O)Sm(CH(2)SiMe(3))[NN](THF)(2) (6) was prepared similarly. Reactions of 5 and 6 with 1 equiv of iPrOH yielded the corresponding alkoxyl complexes 7 and 8, respectively. The molecular structures of 3, 6, and 8 have been determined by X-ray single-crystal analysis. Complexes 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8 have been investigated as lactide polymerization initiators. The heterobimetallic alkoxyl 8 is highly active to yield high molecular weight (M(n) = 6.91 × 10(4)) polylactides with over 91% conversion at the lactide-to-initiator molar ratio of 2000.
    Inorganic Chemistry 08/2011; 50(16):7453-9. · 4.79 Impact Factor