Two new nickel catalysts have been prepared using a convenient procedure where nickelocene, the NHC·HBF4 salts, and [Et4N]Cl were heated in THF using microwave irradiation. The resulting [NiCl(Cp)(NHC)] complexes are air- and moisture stable in the solid state, and represent two new members of this valuable and practical class of nickel catalysts. The new species were fully characterised using methods including NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. When tested in model Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reactions, these complexes were found to be active for the cross-coupling of aryl bromides and aryl chlorides.
Keywords: N-heterocyclic carbenes; catalysis; cross-coupling; nickel.