Influence of N-Substituents on the Adsorption Geometry of OH-Functionalized Chiral N-Heterocyclic Carbenes

Shahar Dery, Peter Bellotti, Tzipora Ben-Tzvi, Matthias Freitag, Tehila Shahar, Albano Cossaro, Alberto Verdini, Luca Floreano, Frank Glorius*, Elad Gross*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Adsorption of chiral molecules on heterogeneous catalysts is a simple approach for inducing an asymmetric environment to enable enantioselective reactivity. Although the concept of chiral induction is straightforward, its practical utilization is far from simple, and only a few examples toward the successful chiral induction by surface anchoring of asymmetric modifiers have been demonstrated so far. Elucidating the factors that lead to successful chiral induction is therefore a crucial step for understanding the mechanism by which chirality is transferred. Herein, we identify the adsorption geometry of OH-functionalized N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), which are chemical analogues to chiral modifiers that successfully promoted α-Arylation reactions once anchored on Pd nanoparticles. Polarized near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) measurements on Pd(111) revealed that NHCs that were associated with low enantioselectivity were characterized with a well-ordered structure, in which the imidazole ring was vertically positioned and the OH-functionalized side arms were flat-lying. OH-functionalized NHCs that were associated with high enantioselectivity revealed a disordered/flexible adsorption geometry, which potentially enabled better interaction between the OH group and the prochiral reactant.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)10029-10035
Number of pages7
Issue number33
StatePublished - 24 Aug 2021

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