Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Wiley, John

Second Advisor

Trudell, Mark

Third Advisor

Tarr, Matthew


N-Heterocyclic Carbenes (NHC) present a viable alternative to traditional phosphine ligands in a variety of organometallic mediated catalytic reactions. Singlet ground-state carbenes are stabilized by the push-pull presence of two adjacent nitrogen atoms in an imidizolium 5-membered ring, allowing neutral electron donor properties. The ability to synthesize a variety of NHC ligands with differing steric and electronic properties is possible by changing the sustiuents on the nitrogen atoms of the imidizolium. Tunable characteristics and enhanced chemical and thermal stability give NHC’s an advantage over phosphines in many catalytic systems.

This dissertation focuses on the use N-Hetercyclic Carbenes in a variety of organometallic complexes. The synthesis of NHC complexes with a variety of transition metals is described. The transition metals complexed with NHC’s include palladium, iridium, nickel and ruthenium. The catalytic activity of the metal-NHC complexes is investigated as well.


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