Charged Tags as Probes for Analyzing Organometallic Intermediates and Monitoring Cross-Coupling Reactions by Electrospray-Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Organic iodides bearing a cationic quaternary ammonium group at a remote position react with zerovalent Pd complexes, Zn, or In leading to a C-I bond insertion. The resulting charge-tagged organometallics can be detected by electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry, which provides detailed information on their stoichiometry, oxidation state, and coordination sphere. The properties of the observed organopalladium and -zinc intermediates largely agree with previous findings, whereas the organoindium species show a surprisingly high tendency to form ate complexes. Magnesium also undergoes insertion into the C-I bond of the charge-tagged organic iodides, but instead of the expected organomagnesium intermediates only the corresponding hydrolysis products could be detected in the diluted solutions. Electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry can also be used to study the reactivity of the charge-tagged species, as was demonstrated for a Pd-catalyzed Negishi cross-coupling reaction. The presented approach permits a straightforward identification of the rate-limiting step and the determination of the corresponding second-order rate constant.