Simple Synthetic Routes to Carbene-M-Amido (M = Cu, Ag, Au) Complexes for Luminescence and Photocatalysis Applications

Steven Patrick Nolan, Nikolaos V. Tzouras, Ekaterina A. Martynova, Xinyuan Ma, Thomas Scattolin, Benjamin Hupp, Hendrik Busen, Marina Saab, Ziyun Zhang, Laura Falivene, Gianmarco Pisanò, Kristof Van Hecke, Luigi Cavallo, Catherine S. J. Cazin, Andreas Steffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The development of novel and operationally simple synthetic routes to Carbene-Metal-Amido (CMA) complexes of copper, silver and gold relevant for photonic applications are reported. A mild base and sustainable solvents allow all operations to be conducted in air and at room temperature, leading to high yields of the targeted compounds even on multigram scales. The effect of various mild bases on the N-H metallation was studied in silico and experimentally, while a mechanochemical, solvent-free synthetic approach was also developed. Our photophysical studies on [M(NHC)(Cbz)] indicate that the occurrence of fluorescent or phosphorescent states is determined primarily by the metal, providing control over the excited state properties. Consequently, we demonstrate the potential of the new CMAs beyond luminescence applications by employing a selected CMA as a photocatalyst. The exemplified synthetic ease is expected to accelerate the applications of CMAs in photocatalysis and materials chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11904-11911
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry – A European Journal
Issue number46
StatePublished - Jun 28 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-11-21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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