We present the mechanistic understanding of an electrochemically-driven nickel-catalyzed coupling reaction. Computational analysis reveals that the spin density is mostly residing on the nickel (Ni) center when NiII is reduced to NiI. Ni-mediated halogen atom abstraction through outer-sphere electron-transfer pathway to yield coupling products under mild conditions is demonstrated. Importantly, we have elucidated the role of NiI and Ni0 for successive coupling of benzyl bromide and benzyl chloride derivatives, respectively, to corresponding bibenzyl products. The Ni-catalyst bearing a PN3P-ligand is an effective catalyst, producing a strong ligand effect on the reactivity and selectivity for the homocoupling reactions.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-02-16
Acknowledgements: We acknowledge the generous financial support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).