Our project (funded by the DFG) on methandiide chemistry focussses on the synthesis of novel methandiides and their application in unusual transition metal carbene complexes.

Methandiides (compounds of type R2CLi2) are attractive synthetic building blocks in organic as well as organometallic chemistry. However, due to their high reactivity only a limited number of readily available systems are known. Our research includes the synthesis of novel methandiides that are easily accessible for further application in transition metal chemistry. Here, we particularly focus on the synthesis of carbene complexes with unique bonding situations. Formally, these complexes differ from the classical Fischer and Schrock-type complexes, thus representing a novel class of carbene compounds (Figure 1).

Primary goal of our investigations is the tuning of the metal carbon bond, to allow for bond activation reactions across the M-C linkage (Figure 2). This direct metal ligand cooperation will further be used for a subsequent transfer of the activated species, such as in hydrofunctionalization reaction. This will further be applied in the use of the complexes in homogenous catalysis. For further information, see our recent publications or our review:
V. H. Gessner, J. Becker, K.-S. Feichtner, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2015, 1841-1859.