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Title:
METHOD FOR PREPARING SALTS OF ARENE-TRANSITION METAL SANDWICH COMPLEXES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/097969
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described is a method for preparing a salt consisting of cations of an arene-transition metal sandwich complex and anions of a Brönsted acid.

Inventors:
HEMGESBERG, Maximilian (Kurt-Schumacher-Straße 68, Apt. Hemgesberg, Kaiserslautern, 67663, DE)
FRANK, Jürgen (Altholzweg 31, Ludwigshafen, 67065, DE)
NÖRENBERG, Ralf (Im Schollengewann 11, Heidelberg, 69123, DE)
Application Number:
EP2016/080410
Publication Date:
June 15, 2017
Filing Date:
December 09, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BASF SE (Carl-Bosch-Straße 38, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, 67056, DE)
International Classes:
C07C203/00; C07F15/02; C07F15/04; C07F15/06
Other References:
M. LE RUDULIER ET AL: "Préparation de cations [[eta]5-cyclopentadiényl fer [eta]6-arène]+ comportant une fonction oxime, cétone, amine ou alcool en [alpha] du ligande arène", JOURNAL OF ORGANOMETALLIC CHEMISTRY., vol. 310, no. 2, 1 August 1986 (1986-08-01), CH, pages 209 - 224, XP055334630, ISSN: 0022-328X, DOI: 10.1016/S0022-328X(00)99554-8
YU-PIN WANG ET AL: "Synthesis of (Cl)(NO)2Cr(n5-C5H4)C(O)(n5-C5H4)Fe-(n5-C5H5). An unexpected product from the Friedel-Crafts acylation of (CO)2(NO)Cr(n5-C5H4)C(O)(n5-C5H4-Fe(n5-C5H5) with (CO)2(NO)Cr[(n5-C5H4)C(O)Cl]", JOURNAL OF ORGANOMETALLIC CHEMISTRY., vol. 399, 1990, ELSEVIER-SEQUOIA S.A. LAUSANNE., pages 141 - 147, XP002765913, ISSN: 0022-328X
P. ZANELLO ET AL.: "The redox behaviour of ferrocene derivatives: VI. Benzylferrocenes. The crystal structure of decabenzylferrocenium tetrafluoroborate", JOURNAL OF ORGANOMETALLIC CHEMISTRY, vol. 471, no. 1-2, 31 May 1994 (1994-05-31), pages 171 - 177, XP002765914, ISSN: 0022-328X
E.S. YANG ET AL., THE JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY, vol. 79, no. 19, 1975
P. ZANELLO ET AL., JOURNAL OF ORGANOMETALLIC CHEMISTRY, vol. 471, 1994, pages 171 - 177 171
J. FERROPOULOS ET AL., INORG. CHEM., vol. 23, 1984, pages 3720 - 3723
F. PAMMER; Y. SUN; C. MAY; G. WOLMERSHAUSER; H. KELM; H.-J. KRUGER; W. R. THIEL, ANGEW. CHEM. INT. ED, vol. 46, 2007, pages 1270 - 1273
FRANK PAMMER; YU SUN; MARKUS PA-GELS; DANIEL WEISMANN; HELMUT SITZMANN; WERNER R. THIEL, ANGEW. CHEM. INT. ED, vol. 47, 2008, pages 3271 - 3274
ORGANOMETALLICS, vol. 34, 2015, pages 5374 - 5382
U. T. MUELLER-WESTERHOFF, ANGEW. CHEM. INT. ED. ENGL., vol. 25, 1986, pages 702 - 717
ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE, vol. 98, no. 8, 1986, pages 700 - 716
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EISENFÜHR SPEISER (Postfach 10 60 78, Bremen, 28060, DE)
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Claims:
Claims

1. Method for preparing a salt consisting of cations of an arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) and anions of a Bronsted acid (iii)

said method comprising

reacting a reaction mixture comprising, dissolved in a solvent, the reactants

(i) an arene-transition metal sandwich complex

(ii) an oxidizing agent selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites

(iii) a Bronsted acid.

2. Method according to claim 1 , wherein said reaction mixture is prepared by dissolving in a solvent

(i) an arene-transition metal sandwich complex

(ii) an oxidizing agent selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites

(iii) a Bronsted acid.

3. Method according to claim 2, wherein

(i) said arene-transition metal sandwich complex and

(ii) said oxidizing agent

are dissolved in the solvent in a molar ratio (i)/(ii) in the range of from 0.8: 1 to 1 :0.8.

4. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein

said arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) is selected from the group consisting of bis-benzenechromium and metallocenes.

5. Method according to claim 4, wherein

said arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) is a metallocene selected from the group consisting of ferrocenes, nickelocenes, cobaltocenes and osmocenes.

6. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein

said oxidizing agent (ii) is isoamyl nitrite.

7. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein

said Bronsted acid (iii) is a sulfonylimide R -S02-NH-S02-R2 wherein R and R2 are independently selected from the group consisting of CF3, CHF2 and CH2F.

8. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein

said solvent is selected from the group consisting of chlorinated hydrocarbons, toluene, diethylether, methyl-tert-butyl-ether, tetrahydrofurane and esters of carbox- ylic acids.

9. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein

reacting the reaction mixture comprises keeping the reaction mixture at its boiling point under reflux conditions, preferably for a duration of at most two hours.

10. Method according to any preceding claim, further comprising the steps of

evaporating the solvent from the reaction mixture to obtain a solid residue digesting the obtained solid residue with a digesting agent

removing the digesting agent from the digested solid residue

- drying the digested solid residue.

1 1. Method according to claim 10, wherein

said digesting agent is selected from the group consisting of chlorinated hydrocarbons, toluene, diethylether, methyl-tert-butyl-ether, tetrahydrofurane and esters of carboxylic acids. 12. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein

(i) the arene-transition metal sandwich complex is a ferrocene

(ii) the oxidizing agent is isoamyl nitrite

(iii) the Bronsted acid is a sulfonylimide R -S02-NH-S02-R2 wherein R and R2 are independently selected from the group consisting of CF3, CHF2 and CH2F.

13. Method according to any preceding claim, wherein

(i) the metallocene is selected from the group consisting of decamethyl ferrocene, 1 , 1 ',3,3',4,4'-hexaisopropyl-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocene, 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 ,1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocene, 1 , 1 '-diethyl- 2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl-3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl ferrocene, 1 , 1 '-bis(trimethylsilyl)-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl-3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl ferrocene and octaisopropyl ferrocene

(ii) the oxidizing agent is isoamylnitrite

(iii) the Bronsted acid is bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide.

and the solvent is selected from the group consisting of CH2CI2, CHCI3 and CCI4.

14. Use of an oxidizing agent selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites (ii) in a method according to any of claims 1 to 13 for preparing a salt consisting of cations of an arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) and anions of a Bronsted acid (iii).

15. Use according to claim 14, wherein said oxidizing agent is isoamyl nitrite.

Description:
Method for preparing salts of arene-transition metal sandwich complexes

The present application relates to a method for preparing a salt consisting of cations of an arene-transition metal sandwich complex and anions of a Bronsted acid. Said salts are herein also referred to as salts of arene-transition metal sandwich complexes.

Certain metallocenium salts, for instance bis(cyclopentadienyl)ferrocenium hexafluorophosphate, are obtainable by a two-step method comprising oxidation of the corresponding metallocene, e.g. ferrocene, with concentrated sulfuric acid to the corresponding metallocenium cation, and subsequent metathesis with an alkali salt having the desired anion, e.g. NaPF 6 (see E.S. Yang et al., The Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol. 79, No. 19, 1975). Alternatively, ferrocenium salts are obtainable by oxidizing the corresponding ferrocene with a silver salt of the desired anion or with a nitrosyl salt of the desired anion. For instance, decabenzyl ferrocenium tetrafluoroborate is obtainable by oxidizing decabenzyl ferrocene with NOBF 4 in CH 2 CI 2 (see P. Zanello et al., Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 471 (1994) 171-177 171 ). However, for certain anions it is difficult to prepare a nitrosyl salt. For instance, following the teaching of P. Zanello et al., ferrocenium salts of bis(trifluoromethyl-sulfonyl)imide could be obtained by oxidizing the corresponding ferrocene with the nitrosyl salt of bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ((CF 3 S0 2 ) 2 NNO). However, (CF 3 S0 2 ) 2 NNO is obtainable only by means of a complex multistage synthesis (see J. Ferropoulos et al., Inorg. Chem. 1984, 23, 3720-3723).

Accordingly, for preparing salts of arene-transition metal sandwich complexes, especially ferroceniums salts like ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethyl-sulfonyl)imide, a method is needed which is less complex and uses a readily available oxidizing agent.

Surprisingly it has been found that said salts are obtainable in a single pot reaction by oxidizing an arene-transition metal sandwich complex, e.g. a ferrocene, in the presence of a Bronsted acid comprising the desired anion using an alkyl nitrite as the oxidizing agent.

Accordingly, in a first aspect the present invention relates to a method for preparing a salt consisting of cations of an arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) and anions of a Bronsted acid (iii)

said method comprising

reacting a reaction mixture comprising, dissolved in a solvent, the reactants

(i) an arene-transition metal sandwich complex

(ii) an oxidizing agent selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites

(iii) a Bronsted acid.

Arene-transition metal sandwich complexes (i) are complexes comprising a transition metal central atom which is coordinatively linked to the π-electrons systems of two aromatic ligands which surround said transition metal central atom in a sandwich-like structure, i.e. the transition metal central atom is located between the faces of two parallel aromatic ligands. The two ligands of said sandwich complex may be the same (homoleptic sandwich complex) or different (heteroleptic sandwich complex). The aromatic ligands are selected from the group consisting of benzenoid aromatic ligands (e.g. benzene) and non-benzenoid aromatic ligands (e.g. cyclopentadienyl). An exemplary arene-transition metal sandwich complex wherein the two aromatic ligands are benzenoid is bis-benzenechromium wherein a chromium central atom is situated between two benzene ligands in a sandwich-like structure. Other arene-transition metal sandwich complexes wherein the two aromatic ligands are benzenoid are known to the skilled person. Exemplary arene-transition metal sandwich complexes wherein the two aromatic ligands are non-benzenoid are metallocenes.

Preferably, said arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) is selected from the group consisting of bis-benzenechromium and metallocenes. Further preferably, said arene- transition metal sandwich complex (i) is a metallocene selected from the group consisting of ferrocenes, nickelocenes, cobaltocenes and osmocenes.

Metallocenes are bis(n. 5 -cyclopentadienyl) complexes of transition metals. In said complexes, the transition metal central atom is situated between two cyclopentadienyl ligands in a sandwich-like structure. The transition metal is preferably selected from the group consisting of iron, nickel, cobalt and osmium. The corresponding metallocene complexes are referred to as ferrocenes, nickelocenes, cobaltocenes and osmocenes, resp.. Other metallocenes are known to the skilled person.

Arene-transition metal sandwich complexes (i) such as metallocenes are electrically neutral molecules. As known by the skilled person, in metallocenes the r cyclopentadienyl ligand is in the form of an anion (cyclopentadienyl anion), also referred to as cyclopentadienide.

In a metallocene complex, the transition metal central atom is coordinatively linked to the TT-electrons system of each of the two n. 5 -cyclopentadienyl ligands. Herein the term cyclopentadienyl ligand includes cyclopentadienyl ligands wherein each carbon atom of the cyclopentadienyl ring is linked to a hydrogen atom [η 5 -0 5 Η 5 ] as well as those wherein one, more or all carbon atoms of the cyclopentadienyl ring are linked to a substituent (residue) R' different from hydrogen ([n 5 -C 5 R' m H 5 . m ] wherein 0 < m < 5), wherein each R' is independently selected from the group consisting silyl residues, alkyl residues and aralkyi resides. The term "alkyl" herein refers to the radical of saturated aliphatic groups, including linear-chain alkyl groups, branched-chain alkyl groups, cycloalkyl (alicyclic) groups, alkyl substituted cycloalkyl groups, and cycloalkyl substituted alkyl groups. Preferred alkyl residues are methyl, ethyl, and iso-propyl. The term "aralkyi" herein refers to aryl-substituted alkyls, e.g. benzyl -CH 2 -C 6 H5 or phenylethyl -CH2-CH2C6H5.

Metallocenes having cyclopentadienyl ligands [η 5 -0 5 Η 5 ] wherein each carbon atom of the cyclopentadienyl ring is linked to a hydrogen atom are hereinbelow referred to as unsub- stituted metallocenes. Metallocenes having cyclopentadienyl ligands ([n 5 -C 5 R' m H 5 . m ] wherein 0 < m < 5) wherein one, more or all carbon atoms of the cyclopentadienyl ring are linked to a substituent (residue) R' different from hydrogen are hereinbelow referred to as substituted metallocenes. Typically in substituted metallocenes each carbon atom of the two cyclopentadienyl rings is linked to a substituent (residue) R' selected from the group consisting of silyl residues, alkyl residues and aralkyl residues, so that the cyclopentadienyl ligands have the structure [n 5 -C 5 R' 5 ]. In certain cases it is preferred that the ten residues R' of such metallocene complex have the same chemical structure, preferably methyl -CH 3 or benzyl -CH 2 -C 6 H 5 . Examples of such substituted metallocenes are decamethyl ferrocene, decabenzyl ferrocene, decamethyl osmocene and decamethyl cobaltocene. Other substituted metallocenes are known to the skilled person. The term metallocenes as used herein includes both unsubstituted metallocenes as defined above and substituted metallocenes as defined above.

Moreover, in a substituted metallocene the n. 5 -cyclopentadienyl ligand may be in the form of a polycyclic species comprising an anionic cyclopentadienyl ring and annulated to said cyclopentadienyl ring one or two further rings, e.g. benzene rings, to which further rings, e.g. benzene rings, may be annulated. Those n. 5 -cyclopentadienyl ligands having one or more benzene rings annulated to the cyclopentadienyl ring are also referred to as benzannulated cyclopentadienides. A cyclopentadienyl ligand consisting of a cyclopentydienyl ring and a benzene ring annulated to said cyclopentadienyl ring is referred to as an indenyl ligand or indenide ligand. A cyclopentadienyl ligand consisting of a cyclopentydienyl ring and two benzene rings each annulated to said cyclopentadienyl ring is referred to as a fluorenide ligand (derived from fluorene). Annulation of a further benzene ring to one resp. both of the benzene rings of the fluorenide ligand results in a benzofluorenide ligand resp, dibenzofluorenide ligand (derived from benzofluorene resp. dibenzofluorene). Those ligands and corresponding metallocenes are described e.g. in F. Pammer, Y. Sun, C. May, G. Wolmershauser, H. Kelm, H.-J. Kriiger and W. R. Thiel, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 1270-1273, and Frank Pammer, Yu Sun, Markus Pa- gels, Daniel Weismann, Helmut Sitzmann and Werner R. Thiel, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 3271 -3274. A i -cyclopentadienyl ligand derived from 5H-dibenzo[e,h]- dibenzo[3,4:6,7]cyclohept[1 ,2-a]azulene is disclosed in Organometallics 2015, 34, 5374-5382. Furthermore, a substituted metallocene may be in the form of a metallocenophane (also referred to as an ansa-metallocene). Metallocenophanes are metallocenes which contain a bridging moiety between the two n. 5 -coordinated cyclopentadienyl rings. Two main classes of metallocenophanes are known: in [m]metallocenophanes the ligands of one metallocene are connected by a bridge (or by several bridges); in [m.n]metallocenophanes two (or more) metallocenes are brought together into one molecule by bridging groups, see U. T. Mueller-Westerhoff, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 25 (1986) 702-717. For instance a species containing two bridged n. 5 cyclopentadienyl rings is in the form of a cyclopentadienyl ring carrying an aralkyl substituent which in turn carries another cyclopentanyl ring. Examples of metallocenophanes are known, e.g. from Angewandte Chemie, volume 98, no. 8, 1986, pages 700-716. In particularly preferred methods according to the present invention, said metallocene is selected from the group consisting of decamethyl ferrocene, 1 , 1 ',3,3',4,4'-hexaisopropyl- 2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocene, 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 ,1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocene, 1 , 1 ' -diethyl-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocene, 1 ,1 ' -bis(trimethylsilyl)-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocene and octaiso- propyl ferrocene.

Arene-transition metal sandwich complexes (i) are electrically neutral molecules. An arene-transition metal sandwich complex can be oxidized into a cation, herein referred to as the cation of said arene-transition metal sandwich complex. In the method according to the present invention, an arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) is oxidized into the corresponding cation by means of an oxidizing agent (ii) selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites.

Alkyl nitrites (ii) are also referred to as nitrous acid esters. Alkyl nitrites have a structure according to the general formula R-0-N=0, wherein R is an alkyl. The term "alkyl" refers to the radical of saturated aliphatic groups, including linear-chain alkyl groups, branched- chain alkyl groups, cycloalkyl (alicyclic) groups, alkyl substituted cycloalkyl groups, and cycloalkyl substituted alkyl groups.

Typical alkyls R are methyl, ethyl, 1-propyl, 2-propyl, 1-butyl, 2-butyl, 1-pentyl, 2-pentyl, 3-pentyl, 1 -hexyl, 2-hexyl, 3-hexyl, 2-methylprop-1-yl, 2-methylprop-2-yl, 2-methylbut-1-yl, 3-methylbut-1-yl (also referred to as isoamyl), 2-methylbut-2-yl, 3-methylbut-2-yl, 2- methylpent-1 -yl, 2-methylpent-2-yl, 2-methylpent-3-yl, 3-methylpent-1-yl, 3-methylpent-2- yl, 3-methylpent-3-yl, 4-methylpent-1-yl and 4-methylpent-2-yl.

Alkyl nitrites are generally known in the field of organic synthesis, because they are commonly used as nitrosation agents in nitrosation reactions. Alkyl nitrites are commercially available. Preferably, in the method according to the present invention the alkyl nitrite (ii) is isoamyl nitrite, because it is readily available.

Without wishing to be bound by any theory, it is presently assumed that when the reaction mixture is allowed to react, molecules of alkyl nitrite (ii) R-0-N=0 decompose into a nitrosyl cation NO which oxidizes the arene-transition metal sandwich complex into the corresponding cation while the nitrosyl cation is reduced to gaseous oxides of nitrogen, especially nitric oxide NO, and

an alcoholate anion RO " which accepts H + released from the Bronsted acid (iii), thus forming the corresponding alcohol ROH.

In the method according to the present invention, said arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) is oxidized in the presence of a Bronsted acid (iii) comprising the anion of the salt to be produced. Bronsted acids (iii) are proton donators, i.e. compounds capable of donating protons to a compound which is a proton acceptor, i.e. capable of accepting the donated protons (Bronsted base). When donating a proton, the Bronsted acid is transformed into its corresponding base.

Said Bronsted acid (iii) is typically an electrically neutral compound of the general formula HX wherein H corresponds to an ionogenic proton and X corresponds to an acid residue anion. The anion X " formed when the ionogenic proton is released from the Bronsted acid (iii) is the corresponding base of said non-aqueous Bronsted acid HX. It is herein referred to as the anion of said Bronsted acid (iii). Said anion of said Bronsted acid (iii) is the anion of the salt to be formed by the method of the present invention.

In the method according to the present invention the Bronsted acid (iii) is selected to meet the following requirements:

- it is not oxidized by the oxidizing agent (ii) selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites

it does not act as an oxidizing agent with respect to the arene-transition-metal sandwich complex (i) of which a salt is to be prepared.

Said Bronsted acid (iii) is preferably not selected from the group consisting of nitric acid, perchloric acid and sulfuric acid.

Preferably said Bronsted acid (iii) is a sulfonylimide R -S0 2 -NH-S0 2 -R 2 wherein R and R 2 are independently selected from the group consisting of CF 3 , CHF 2 and CH 2 F. Further preferably, said Bronsted acid (iii) is bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (CF 3 S0 2 ) 2 NH.

Other preferred Bronsted acids (iii) are fluoroboric acid HBF 4 , hexafluorophosphoric acid HPF 6 and trifluoroacetic acid. Still other preferred Bronsted acids (iii) are selected from the group of fluorinated alcohols and fluorinated phenols which are capable of releasing an ionogenic proton. Herein, hexafluoro-isopropanol HO-CH(CF 3 ) 2 , perflorinated alcohols, e.g. perfluoro-tert-butyl alcohol HO-C(CF 3 ) 3 and perfluoro methanol HO-CF 3 , and perfluorinated phenols, e.g. perfluoro phenol HO-C 6 F 5 , are particularly preferred.

In the reaction mixture, said oxidizing agent (ii) oxidizes the arene-transition metal sand- wich complex (i) into the corresponding cations, and said Bronsted acid (iii) is the source of anions compensating the charge of the cations obtained by oxidizing said arene- transition metal sandwich complex.

Preferably, the reaction mixture is prepared by dissolving in a solvent

(i) an arene-transition metal sandwich complex

(ii) an oxidizing agent selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites

(iii) a Bronsted acid.

Preferably, each of reactants (i), (ii) and (ii) is dissolved in the solvent in a concentration of from 0.05 mol/L to 1.5 mol/L, preferably of from 0.075 mol/L to 1.0 mol/L.

The solvent is selected to meet the following requirements:

- capability of dissolving the above-defined reactants (i), (ii) and (iii) so as to form a reaction mixture

undergoing no chemical reaction with reactants (i), (ii) and (iii)

low dissolving capability for ionogenic compounds like salts, so that the reaction product which is a salt precipitates and is readily separated from the reaction mix- ture.

Preferably, the dissolving capability of the solvent for the reaction product (salt of arene- transition metal sandwich complex) is below 0.05 mol/L, preferably below 0.01 ml/L, further preferably below 0.001 mol/L.

These requirements are fulfilled by solvents selected from the group of aprotic solvents. Aprotic solvents are solvents which do not contain ionogenic protons in their molecules.

Preferably, the solvent for preparing the reaction mixture by dissolving components (i), (ii) and (iii) as defined above is selected from the group consisting of chlorinated hydrocarbons, toluene, diethyl ether, methyl-tert-butyl-ether, tetrahydrofurane and esters of car- boxylic acids. Preferred esters of carboxylic acids are selected from the group consisting of ethyl acetate, n-propyl acetate, i-propyl acetate, n-butyl acetate and i-butyl acetate. Preferred chlorinated hydrocarbons are selected from the group consisting of CH 2 CI 2 , CHCI 3 and CCU.

Preferably,

(i) said arene-transition metal sandwich complex and

(ii) said oxidizing agent

are dissolved in the solvent in a molar ratio (i)/(ii) in the range of from 0.8: 1 to 1 :0.8, preferably 0:9: 1 to 1 :0.9, further preferably 0.95:1 to 1 :0.95.

In some cases it is preferred that proceeding of the reaction is enhanced by heating the reaction mixture to its boiling point under reflux conditions. Herein, preferably, reacting the reaction mixture comprises keeping the reaction mixture at its boiling point under reflux conditions. Preferably the reaction mixture is kept at its boiling point under reflux conditions for a duration of at most two hours, preferably for less than two hours, e.g. one hour or less. In other cases, it is preferred to let the reaction mixture react at room tem- perature.

Surprisingly it has been found that the reaction in the reaction mixture starts and proceeds very fast as can be recognized by a color change of the reaction mixture (for instance the reaction mixture achieves a dark green coloration in the case of forming decamethyl ferrocenium salts like decamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide) and gas evolution. Due to the release of gaseous oxides of nitrogen, the reaction is irreversible.

Preferably, a method according to the present invention further comprises the steps of evaporating the solvent from the reaction mixture to obtain a solid residue comprising the reaction product (salt of arene-transition metal sandwich complex)

- digesting the obtained solid residue with a digesting agent

removing the digesting agent from the digested solid residue

drying the digested solid residue.

Evaporating the solvent from the reaction mixture is preferably carried out by means of applying a pressure below p n = 101 325 Pa. The digesting agent used in the step of digesting the obtained solid residue is selected to have a low dissolving capability for ionogenic compounds (salts) so that only negligible amounts of the reaction product which is a salt dissolve in the step of digesting. Preferably, the digesting agent has a comparably low or even lower dissolving capability for the reaction product than the solvent of the reaction mixture. These requirements are fulfilled by digesting agents which are aprotic, i.e. do not contain ionogenic protons in their molecules.

In said step of digesting the obtained solid residue, said digesting agent may be selected from the same group as the solvent used for preparing the reaction mixture. Preferably, in said step of digesting the obtained solid residue, said digesting agent is selected from the group consisting of chlorinated hydrocarbons, toluene, diethyl ether, methyl-tert-butyl- ether, tetrahydrofurane and esters of carboxylic acids. Preferred chlorinated hydrocarbons are selected from the group consisting of CH 2 CI 2 , CHCI 3 and CCI 4 . Preferred esters of carboxylic acids are selected from the group consisting of ethyl acetate, n-propyl acetate, i-propyl acetate, n-butyl acetate and i-butyl acetate.

For instance, the solvent used for preparing the reaction mixture is selected from the group consisting of CH 2 CI 2 , CHCI 3 and CCI 4 , and the digesting agent used for digesting the obtained solid residue is diethyl ether or toluene.

In other preferred methods according to the present invention, the solvent used for pre- paring the reaction mixture and the digesting agent used for digesting the obtained solid residue have the same chemical composition.

Removing the digesting agent from the digested solid residue is preferably achieved by filtration.

Drying of the digested solid residue is preferably carried out in a temperature range of from 0 °C to 100 °C, preferably of from 20 °C to 50 °C. Preferably, in the step of drying, the digested solid residue is subject to a pressure below p n = 101 325 Pa.

In preferred methods according to the present invention, a premixture comprising

(i) said arene-transition metal sandwich complex

(ii) said alkyl nitrite

is prepared first by dissolving (i) said arene-transition metal sandwich complex and (ii) said alkyl nitrite in a solvent, and then said Bronsted acid (iii) is added to said premixture, thus obtaining the reaction mixture. Preferably, a solution of said Bronsted acid (iii) is formed by dissolving the Bronsted acid (iii) in the same solvent as used for preparing the premixture, and said solution of said Bronsted acid (iii) is added to the premixture. Typically the reaction is started by adding said Bronsted acid (iii) (preferably in the form of a solution in the same solvent as used for preparing the premixture) to said premixture.

In other preferred methods according to the present invention,

(i) said arene-transition metal sandwich complex, and

(ii) said alkyl nitrite

are dissolved in a solution of said Bronsted acid (iii) in a solvent, thus obtaining the reaction mixture.

In specific cases, it is preferred that the Bronsted acid is a non-aqueous Bronsted acid. This is especially the case when the Bronsted acid is a sulfonylimide R -S0 2 -NH-S0 2 -R 2 wherein R and R 2 are independently selected from the group consisting of CF 3 , CHF 2 and CH 2 F. Non-aqueous as used herein means that the Bronsted acid does not contain hydrated protons. (The latter is typically the case when a water-soluble acid HX is dissolved in water; HX + H 2 0≠ H 3 0 + + X " ).

In a preferred method according to the present invention,

(i) the arene-transition metal sandwich complex is a metallocene

(ii) the oxidizing agent is selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites

(iii) the Bronsted acid is a non-aqueous Bronsted acid.

In a more preferred method according to the present invention,

(i) the arene-transition metal sandwich complex is a metallocene

(ii) the oxidizing agent is selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites

(iii) the Bronsted acid is a sulfonylimide R -S0 2 -NH-S0 2 -R 2 wherein R and R 2 are independently selected from the group consisting of CF 3 , CHF 2 and CH 2 F.

In a further preferred method according to the present invention,

(i) the arene-transition metal sandwich complex is a ferrocene

(ii) the oxidizing agent is selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites (iii) the Bronsted acid is a sulfonylimide R -S0 2 -NH-S0 2 -R 2 wherein R and R 2 are independently selected from the group consisting of CF 3 , CHF 2 and CH 2 F.

In a still further preferred method according to the present invention,

(i) the arene-transition metal sandwich complex is a ferrocene

(ii) the oxidizing agent is isoamyl nitrite

(iii) the Bronsted acid is a sulfonylimide R -S0 2 -NH-S0 2 -R 2 wherein R and R 2 are independently selected from the group consisting of CF 3 , CHF 2 and CH 2 F.

In said preferred methods using an oxidizing agent selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites, the solvent is preferably selected from the group consisting of CH 2 CI 2 , CHCI 3 and CCI 4 .

In a particularly preferred method according to the present invention,

(i) the arene-transition metal sandwich complex is selected from the group consisting of decamethyl ferrocene, 1 ,1 ',3,3',4,4'-hexaisopropyl-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocene, 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 , 1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocene, 1 , 1 ' -diethyl- 2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocene, 1 ,1 ' -bis(trimethylsilyl)- 2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocene and octaisopropyl ferrocene

(ii) the oxidizing agent is isoamylnitrite

(iii) the Bronsted acid is bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (CF 3 S0 2 ) 2 NH.

and the solvent is selected from the group consisting of CH 2 CI 2 , CHCI 3 and CCI 4 .

Said particularly preferred method is a method for preparing a salt selected from the group consisting of decamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, 1 ,1 ',3,3',4,4'-hexaisopropyl-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide, 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 , 1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethyl- sulfonyl)imide, 1 ,1 ' -diethyl-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide, 1 , 1 ' -bis(trimethylsilyl)-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' - tetraisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide and octaisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide.

In the method according to the present invention, the yield of the salt consisting of cations of an arene-transition metal sandwich complex and anions of a Bronsted acid is preferably 80 % or more, more preferably 85 % or more, further preferably 90 % or more and particularly preferably 95 % or more, based on the initial amount of the arene-transition metal sandwich complex.

The chemical composition of the obtained product can be verified by elemental analysis. Details of said analytical technique are known to the skilled person. The chemical structure of the obtained product can be verified by X-ray diffraction (XRD), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and other suitable analytical techniques. Details of such analytical techniques are known to the skilled person.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to the use of an oxidizing agent selected from the group consisting of alkyl nitrites (ii) in a method as described herein for preparing a salt consisting of cations of an arene-transition metal sandwich complex (i) and anions of a Bronsted acid (iii). Statements made above regarding preferred methods of the present invention apply also to this aspect of the invention.

Preferably, said oxidizing agent is isoamyl nitrite. Especially preferably, isoamyl nitrite is used in a method as described herein for preparing a salt selected from the group con- sisting of decamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, 1 , 1 ',3, 3', 4, 4'- hexaisopropyl-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide, 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 , 1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethyl- sulfonyl)imide, 1 ,1 ' -diethyl-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide, 1 , 1 ' -bis(trimethylsilyl)-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' - tetraisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide and octaisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide.

The present invention is hereinbelow further illustrated by the following examples.

Example 1 : Preparation of decamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide

A premixture was prepared by dissolving

(i) 0.76 g (4.09 mMoles) of decamethyl ferrocene and

(ii) 0.48 g (4.09 mMoles) of isoamyl nitrite

in 15 mL CHCI 3 . A reaction mixture was prepared by adding to said premixture a solution of

(iii) 1.15 g (4.09 mMoles) Bis(trifluormethylsulfonyl)imide

in 15 mL CHCI 3

at room temperature under stirring. The color of the reaction mixture quickly turned from yellow-orange to dark green upon addition of the solution of (iii), and gas evolved. The reaction mixture was heated under reflux conditions up to its boiling point, and was kept at its boiling point under reflux conditions for one hour.

Then the reaction mixture was allowed to cool and the liquid phase was removed by evaporation so that a solid residue was obtained. The obtained solid residue was digested using either diethyl ether or toluene as the digesting agent. The digesting agent was removed from the digested solid residue by filtration. The digested solid residue was collected and dried at 25 °C for 6 hours in vacuo. The obtained product is a dark green powder. The amount of the obtained product was 1 .7 g, corresponding to a yield of 89.2 % based on the initial amount of decamethyl ferrocene.

The chemical composition of the obtained product was analyzed by elemental analysis. The results are listed in the table below. For comparison, the theoretical weight percentage of each element in decamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide are given. The deviations between the calculated and the measured weight percentages are within the accuracy of measurement. element Calculated content/ Measured content /

wt.-% wt.-%

C 30.9 31 .2

H 2.2 2.5

N 3.0 4.2

S 13.8 12.6

Fe 12.0 1 1 .5 Example 2: Preparation of 1 , 1 ',3,3',4,4'-hexaisopropyl-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide

A premixture was prepared by dissolving

(i) 1.00 g (2.02 mMoles) of 1 , 1 ',3,3',4,4'-hexaisopropyl-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocene and

(ii) 0.237 g (2.02 mMoles) of isoamyl nitrite

in 20 mL CH 2 CI 2 .

A reaction mixture was prepared by adding to said premixture a solution of

(iii) 0.568 g (2.02 mMoles) Bis(trifluormethylsulfonyl)imide

in 20 mL CH 2 CI 2

at room temperature under stirring.

The color of the reaction mixture quickly turned from yellow-brown to deep green upon addition of the solution of (iii), and gas evolved. The reaction mixture was kept under stirring at room temperature over night. Then the liquid phase was removed by evaporation so that a solid residue was obtained. The obtained solid residue was digested five times using diethyl ether as the digesting agent. The digesting agent was removed from the digested solid residue by filtration. The digested solid residue was collected and dried at 25 °C for 6 hours in vacuo. The obtained product is a dark green powder. The amount of the obtained product was 1.29 g (1.68 mMoles), corresponding to a yield of 83 % based on the initial amount of 1 , 1 ',3,3',4,4'-hexaisopropyl-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocene.

The chemical composition of the obtained product was analyzed by elemental analysis. The results are listed in the table below. For comparison, the theoretical weight percent- age of the corresponding elements in 1 , 1 ',3,3',4,4'-hexaisopropyl-2,2',5,5'-tetramethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide are given. The deviations between the calculated and the measured weight percentages are within the accuracy of measurement. element Calculated content/ Measured content /

wt.-% wt.-%

C 52.71 51.38

H 7.03 7.03

N 1.81 2.09

S 8.28 8.4

Example 3: Preparation of 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 ,1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide

A reaction mixture was prepared by dissolving

(i) 1.00 g (2.28 mMoles) of 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 , 1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocene and

(ii) 0.27 g (2.30 mMoles) of isoamyl nitrite

in a stirred solution of

(iii) 0.64 g (2.28 mMoles) Bis(trifluormethylsulfonyl)imide

in 20 mL CH 2 CI 2

at room temperature under stirring.

The color of the reaction mixture quickly turned from yellow to deep green upon addition of the solution of (iii), and gas evolved. The reaction mixture was kept under stirring at room temperature over 16 hours.

Then the liquid phase was removed by evaporation so that a solid residue was obtained. The obtained solid residue was digested using diethyl ether as the digesting agent. The digesting agent was removed from the digested solid residue by filtration. The digested solid residue was collected and dried at 25 °C for 6 hours in vacuo. The obtained product is a dark green powder.

The amount of the obtained product was 1.57 g (2.17 mMoles), corresponding to a yield of 95 % based on the initial amount of 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 ,1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocene. The chemical composition of the obtained product was analyzed by elemental analysis. The results are listed in the table below. For comparison, the theoretical weight percentage of the corresponding elements in 3,3',4,4'-tetraisopropyl-1 , 1 ',2,2',5,5'-hexamethyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide are given. The deviations between the calculated and the measured weight percentages are within the accuracy of measurement.

Example 4: Preparation of 1 ,1 ' -diethyl-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide

A reaction mixture was prepared by dissolving

(i) 1.00 g (2.14 mMoles) of 1 , 1 ' -diethyl-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocene

in 20 ml CH 2 CI 2 and adding

(ii) 0.25 g (2.14 mMoles) of isoamyl nitrite.

A reaction mixture was prepared by adding to said premixture a solution of

(iii) 0.602 g (2.14 mMoles) Bis(trifluormethylsulfonyl)imide

in 20 mL CH 2 CI 2

at room temperature under stirring.

The color of the reaction mixture quickly turned from yellow to deep green upon addition of the solution of (iii), and gas evolved. The reaction mixture was kept under stirring at room temperature over 18 hours. Then the liquid phase was removed by evaporation so that a solid residue was obtained. The obtained solid residue was digested using diethyl ether as the digesting agent. The digesting agent was removed from the digested solid residue by filtration. The digested solid residue was collected and dried at 25 °C for 6 hours in vacuo. The obtained product is a dark green powder.

The amount of the obtained product was 1.45 g (1.94 mMoles), corresponding to a yield of 91 % based on the initial amount of 1 , 1 ' -diethyl-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' - tetraisopropyl ferrocene.

The chemical composition of the obtained product was analyzed by elemental analysis. The results are listed in the table below. For comparison, the theoretical weight percentage of the corresponding elements in 1 ,1 ' -diethyl-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' - tetraisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide are given. The deviations between the calculated and the measured weight percentages are within the accuracy of measurement.

Example 5: Preparation of bis(trimethylsilyl)-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' -tetraisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide

A reaction mixture was prepared by dissolving

(i) 1.00 g (1.8 mMoles) of bis(trimethylsilyl)-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' - tetraisopropyl ferrocene

in 20 ml CH 2 CI 2 and adding

(ii) 0.21 1 g (1 .8 mMoles) of isoamyl nitrite. A reaction mixture was prepared by adding to said premixture a solution of

(iii) 0.507 g (1.8 mMoles) Bis(trifluormethylsulfonyl)imide

in 20 mL CH 2 CI 2

at room temperature under stirring. The color of the reaction mixture quickly turned from orange to deep green upon addition of the solution of (iii), and gas evolved. The reaction mixture was kept under stirring at room temperature over 18 hours.

Then the liquid phase was removed by evaporation so that a solid residue was obtained. The obtained solid residue was digested four times using diethyl ether as the digesting agent. The digesting agent was removed from the digested solid residue by filtration. The digested solid residue was collected and dried at 25 °C for 6 hours in vacuo. The obtained product is a dark green powder.

The amount of the obtained product was 1.4 g (1.68 mMoles), corresponding to a yield of 93 % based on the initial amount of bis(trimethylsilyl)-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' - tetraisopropyl ferrocene.

The chemical composition of the obtained product was analyzed by elemental analysis. The results are listed in the table below. For comparison, the theoretical weight percentage of the corresponding elements in bis(trimethylsilyl)-2,2 ' ,5,5 ' -tetramethyl-3,3 ' ,4,4 ' - tetraisopropyl bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide are given. The deviations between the calculated and the measured weight percentages are within the accuracy of measurement. element Calculated content/ Measured content /

wt.-% wt.-%

C 48.91 48.86

H 7.00 6.35

N 1.68 1.84

S 7.58 7.51 Example 6: Preparation of octaisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide

A premixture was prepared by dissolving

(i) 0.80 g (1.53 mMoles) of octaisopropyl ferrocene and

(ii) 0.179 g (1 .53 mMoles) of isoamyl nitrite

in 30 mL CH 2 CI 2 .

A reaction mixture was prepared by adding to said premixture a solution of

(iii) 0.430 g (1 .53 mMoles) Bis(trifluormethylsulfonyl)imide

in 150 mL CH 2 CI 2

at room temperature under stirring. The color of the reaction mixture quickly turned from salmon to deep green upon addition of the solution of (iii), and gas evolved. The reaction mixture was kept under stirring at room temperature over night.

Then the liquid phase was removed by evaporation so that a solid residue was obtained. The obtained solid residue was digested using diethyl ether as the digesting agent. The digesting agent was removed from the digested solid residue by filtration. The digested solid residue was collected and dried at 25 °C for 6 hours in vacuo. The obtained product is a dark green powder.

The amount of the obtained product was 1.16 g (1.44 mMoles), corresponding to a yield of 94 % based on the initial amount of octaisopropyl ferrocene. The chemical composition of the obtained product was analyzed by elemental analysis. The results are listed in the table below. For comparison, the theoretical weight percentage of the corresponding elements in octaisopropyl ferrocenium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide are given. The deviations between the calculated and the measured weight percentages are within the accuracy of measurement. element Calculated content/ Measured content / wt.-% wt.-%

C 53.86 53.9

H 7.28 6.64

N 1.74 1.74

S 7.99 7.86