Silylative Pinacol Coupling Catalyzed by Nitrogen-Doped Carbon-Encapsulated Nickel/Cobalt Nanoparticles: Evidence for a Silyl Radical Pathway

Søren Kramer, Fatima Hejjo, Kristoffer Hauberg Rasmussen, Søren Kegnæs*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The silylative pinacol coupling of arylaldehydes catalyzed by aneasily accessible, heterogeneous base-metal catalyst is demonstrated. Instead of using the classical combination of catalyst, stoichiometric metal reductants, and chlorosilanes, the developed reaction only requires the use of a catalyst and a hydrosilane, which serves as both reductant and silylating agent. A rare mechanistic investigation in this field focusing on the organic reactants was undertaken using various techniques including experimental rate orders, kinetic isotope effect, radical scavengers, and stoichiometric tests. The obtained results provided evidence for a reaction mechanism which is different from the classical pinacol coupling pathway. We propose that the heterogeneous catalyst facilitates easy access to silyl radicals, thereby circumventing the usual need for explosive initiators to access these species. In addition, leaching tests and recycling of the catalyst were performed, clearly supporting the heterogeneous nature of the catalyst.
Original languageEnglish
JournalA C S Catalysis
Pages (from-to)754-759
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nitrogen-doped carbon
  • Mechanism
  • Silyl radicals

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