Frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) are renowned for their ability to enable small molecule activation that is traditionally in the domain of transition metal chemistry. In particular, great attention has been paid to the activation of E–H bonds (E = H, B, Si, C), however, FLPs are less frequently applied in exploring the activation of C–X bonds (X = F, Cl, Br, I), despite this also being an area that is highly dependent on the use of transition metals and having environmental and economic drawbacks associated with their metal-dependence.
We have used main group FLPs and mixed main group/base metal FLPs to enact C–X activation. The use of FLPs has offered unique advantages in terms of selectivity in polyhalide systems, and allows a means to overcome the long-standing problem of ‘over-reaction’ in polyfluoromethyl substrates. I will discuss our recent results in this area and some exciting applications to have come from this research.
Tinnermann, H.; Sung, S.; Csokas, D.; Toh, Z. H.; Fraser, C.; Young, R. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 10700-10708
Mandal, D.; Gupta, R.; Jaiswal, A. K.; Young, R. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2020, 142, 2572-2578
Mandal, D.; Gupta, R.; Young, R. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 10682-10686