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Thermal transformation of organoboranes : applicability of ¹¹B NMR spectroscopy and supporting molecular modelling.

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The high temperature transformations of trialkylboranes were investigated in the range: 50- 200 ºC. The extent of dealkylation was found to be linked to temperature with ca. 10% octene liberation from tri-n-octylborane at 150 ºC in the absence of bulk solvent. Analysis of the oxidised samples from the dealkylation investigation shows that, whereas the control experiment shows no back-isomerisation of tri-n-octylborane at 150 ºC, the addition of 10 mol% of DMF, DMSO, HMPA and trimethoxyphosphate results in back-isomerisation of the alkyl chain. In general, the addition of Lewis base catalyst was found to enhance the extent of dealkylation. In a supporting 11B NMR spectroscopy study to understand the interaction of trialkylboranes and Lewis bases, the interactions of a series of oxygen and phosphorous donor Lewis bases with tri-n-butylborane were found to be favourable, as indicated by large negative binding enthalpy ( HBIND) and entropy ( SBIND) values. Only the trialkylamine Lewis bases were found to have unfavourable interactions with tri-nbutylborane, as indicated by positive HBIND and SBIND values. The results also show that the chemical shift of the adduct at infinite dilution ( 11 B = ) is not as reliable a measure of the interaction between the two species and that correlation of binding constant (logKBIND) at 25.0 ºC to GBIND defines a linear trend that orders the Lewis bases according to spontaneity of the interaction with the strength of the dative bond formed. The applicability of 11B NMR spectroscopy to the study of the reactions of boranes and alkylboranes was extended to the investigation of the reduction of nitriles by BH3.SMe2 in dichloromethane (15-30 ºC). Results from the kinetic study indicate that the overall reduction with BH3.SMe2 is associative ( Sactivation = -71 ± 10 J K-1 mol-1), with the dependence of kobs data on SMe2 concentration highlighting the importance of the dissociation of the SMe2 from BH3 to the reduction process. The lack of reaction with propionitrile and benzonitrile at 25 ºC can be attributed to lack of stability of their adducts with BH3 as demonstrated by the small equilibrium constants for the formation of their adducts with borane; as determined by 1H NMR spectroscopy and further illustrated by computational calculation of their energies at the B3LYP/6-31G* level of theory.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2008.


Theses--Chemistry., Hydroboration., Organoboron compounds.