Stable N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC) are a class of compounds that has attracted a huge amount of interest in the last decade. One way to prepare NHCs is through chemical or electrochemical reduction of 1,3-disubstituted imidazolium cations. We are presenting an in-situ electrochemical X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) study where electrochemically reduced imidazolium cations lead to production of stable NHC. The electroactive imidazolium species is not only the reactant, but also part of the ionic liquid which serves as the electrolyte, the medium and the electroactive material. This allows us to directly probe the difference between the parent imidazolium ion and the NHC through the use of XPS. The interpretation of the results is supported by both observation of reversible redox peaks in the voltammogram and the density functional theory calculations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)