N-heterocyclic germylenes: structural characterisation of some heavy analogues of the ubiquitous N-heterocyclic carbenes

Christopher A. Dodds*, Alan R. Kennedy, Mark D. Spicer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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The X-ray crystal structures of three N-heterocyclic germylenes (NHGes) have been elucidated including the previously unknown 1,3-bis(2,6-dimethylphenyl)diazagermol-2-ylidene (1). In addition, the X-ray crystal structures of the previously synthesised 1,3-bis(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)diazagermol-2-ylidene (2) and 1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)diazagermol-2-ylidene (3) are also reported. The discrete molecular structures of compounds 1 to 3 are comparable, with Ge-N bond lengths in the range 1.835-1.875 Å, while the N-Ge-N bond angles range between 83.6 and 85.2°. Compound 2 was compared to the analogous N-heterocyclic carbene species, 1,3-bis(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene (IMes). The major geometrical difference observed, as expected, was the bond angle around the divalent group 14 atom. The N-Ge-N bond angle was 83.6° for compound 2 versus the N-C-N bond angle of 101.4° for IMes. The Sn equivalent of (1), 1,3-bis(2,6-dimethylphenyl)diazastannol-2-ylidene (4), has also been synthesised and its crystal structure is reported here. In order to test their suitability as ligands, compounds 1 to 3 were reacted with a wide range of transition metal complexes. No NHGes containing metal complexes were observed. In all cases the NHGe either degraded or gave no reaction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9178371
Number of pages8
JournalHeteroatom Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


  • N-heterocyclic carbene
  • N-heterocyclic germylenes
  • molecular structure
  • organometallic
  • chemistry


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