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Group 13 Superacid Adducts of [PCl2N]3

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posted on 14.03.2016 by Zin-Min Tun, Amy J. Heston, Matthew J. Panzner, Vincenzo Scionti, Doug A. Medvetz, Brian D. Wright, Nicholas A. Johnson, Linlin Li, Chrys Wesdemiotis, Peter L. Rinaldi, Wiley J. Youngs, Claire A. Tessier
Irrespective of the order of the addition of reagents, the reactions of [PCl2N]3 with MX3 (MX3 = AlCl3, AlBr3, GaCl3) in the presence of water or gaseous HX give the air- and light-sensitive superacid adducts [PCl2N]3·HMX4. The reactions are quantitative when HX is used. These reactions illustrate a Lewis acid/Brønsted acid dichotomy in which Lewis acid chemistry can become Brønsted acid chemistry in the presence of adventitious water or HX. The crystal structures of all three [PCl2N]3·HMX4 adducts show that protonation weakens the two P–N bonds that flank the protonated nitrogen atom. Variable-temperature NMR studies indicate that exchange in solution occurs in [PCl2N]3·HMX4, even at lower temperatures than those for [PCl2N]3·MX3. The fragility of [PCl2N]3·HMX4 at or near room temperature and in the presence of light suggests that such adducts are not involved directly as intermediates in the high-temperature ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of [PCl2N]3 to give [PCl2N]n. Attempts to catalyze or initiate the ROP of [PCl2N]3 with the addition of [PCl2N]3·HMX4 at room temperature or at 70 °C were not successful.

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