Activation of Molecular Hydrogen by Arylcarbenes

Enrique Mendez-Vega, Mika Maehara, Akshay Hemant Raut, Joel Mieres-Perez, Masashi Tsuge, Yuan-Pern Lee*, Wolfram Sander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The hydrogenation reactions of diphenylcarbene 1, fluorenylidene 2, and dibenzocycloheptadienylidene 3 were investigated in solid H2 and D2 matrices and in H2- and D2-doped argon matrices at cryogenic temperatures. The reactivity of the carbenes towards H2 increases in the order 1<3<2. Whereas 1 is stable in solid H2, 2 and 3 react fast under the same conditions via quantum chemical tunneling. In D2 both 1 and 3 are stable, whereas 2 slowly reacts. The different reactivity of the three carbenes is rationalized in terms of differing carbene stabilization energies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18801-18808
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number70
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2018


  • carbenes
  • hydrogen activation
  • IR spectroscopy
  • matrix isolation
  • tunneling

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