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We report hydroboration of carbodiimide and isocyanate substrates catalyzed by a cyclic carbodiphosphorane catalyst. The cyclic carbodiphosphorane outperformed the other Lewis basic carbon species tested, including other zerovalent carbon compounds, phosphorus ylides, an N-heterocyclic carbene, and an N-heterocyclic olefin. Hydroborations of seven carbodiimides and nine isocyanates were performed at room temperature to form N-boryl formamidine and N-boryl formamide products. Intermolecular competition experiments demonstrated the selective hydroboration of alkyl isocyanates over carbodiimide and ketone substrates. DFT calculations support a proposed mechanism involving activation of pinacolborane by the carbodiphosphorane catalyst, followed by hydride transfer and B−N bond formation.


This article was originally published in Chemistry: A European Journal in 2023.

chem202303095-sup-0001-misc_information.pdf (2355 kB)
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