Iridium(I)/N-Heterocyclic Carbene Hybrid Materials: Surface Stabilization of Low-Valent Iridium Species for High Catalytic Hydrogenation Performance
An Ir-I(NHC)-based hybrid material was prepared using a methodology which allowed the precise positioning and isolation of the Ir centers along the pore channels of a silica framework. The full characterization of the material by solid-state NMR spectroscopy showed that the supported Ir sites were stabilized by the silica surface, as low-coordinated single-site complexes. The material is extremely efficient for the hydrogenation of functional alkenes. The catalytic performance (TOF and TON) is one to two orders of magnitude higher than those of their molecular Ir analogues, and could be related to the prevention of the bimolecular deactivation of Ir complexes observed under homogeneous conditions.