We report the direct synthesis of a solid-phase frustrated Lewis pair (s-FLP) by combining a silica-supported Lewis acid (SiOB(C6F5)2, s-BCF) with a Lewis base (tri-tert-butylphosphine, tBu3P) to give[SiOB(C6F5)2][tBu3P]. Reaction of this s-FLP with H2 under mild conditions led to heterolytic H–H bond cleavage and the formation of [SiOB(H)(C6F5)2][tBu3PH].

A series of frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) based on the Lewis acids tris(perchloroaryl)borane (BArCl), and tris(2,2′,2′′-perfluorobiphenyl)borane (PBB) and trialkylphosphines were prepared; their ability to effect the heterolytic cleavage of dihydrogen, insert carbon dioxide into the borohydride, and reduce the resulting formatoborate to methanol were studied. Additionally, the insertion of CO2 into a B–OH bond is explored with the ultimate aim of developing a homogeneous, catalytic preparation of carbonates. The compound [PBB–OH][H–P(tBu)3] was characterised by single crystal X-ray crystallography.


Recent publications:

Hydrogen cleavage by solid-phase frustrated Lewis pairs, J.-Y. Xing, J.-C. Buffet, N. H. Rees, P. Nørby and D. O’Hare, Chem. Commun., (2016), 52, 10478-10481. Inside Cover.

Small molecule activation by frustrated Lewis pairs, A. L. Travis, S. C. Binding, H. Zaher, T. A. Q. Arnold, J.-C. Buffet and D. O'Hare Dalton Trans., (2013), 42, 24321-2437