If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Chemistry’s First Definitive Silylidyne

As a metal alkylidyne analog, Mo≡Si complex broadens the scope of organometallic chemistry

by Stephen K. Ritter
May 10, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 19

Credit: Alexander Filippou
Credit: Alexander Filippou

Transition-metal complexes containing a metal-carbon triple bond, known as metal alkylidynes, are among the most important organometallic compounds—they are in part the basis of Nobel-Prize-winning research on olefin metathesis. Alexander C. Filippou and coworkers at the University of Bonn, in Germany, have broadened the scope of this chemistry by preparing the first silicon analog, a molybdenum silylidyne (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 3296). Filippou’s group and others have previously synthesized germanium, tin, and lead congeners of alkylidyne complexes. But isolating the silicon analog has remained one of silicon chemistry’s most challenging targets. The problem has been finding a suitable organosilicon(II) precursor, Filippou says. His team recently came up with one in the form of a bulky arylsilicon chloride stabilized by an imidazole N-heterocyclic carbene (Chem. Eur. J. 2010, 16, 2866). Treating this carbene-chlorosilylene adduct with a molybdenum complex and subsequently heating the stable Mo=Si intermediate product with a carbene-trapping triarylborane led to the molybdenum silylidyne complex shown, C5H5(CO)2Mo≤SiR, where R is a bulky substituted phenyl. Isolating the metal silylidyne shows the potential of carbene-chlorosilylene adducts for generating novel compounds with silicon multiple bonds and opens the door to potential new chemistry of silylidyne complexes, the researchers note.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.