Selective [3+1] Fragmentations of P4by “P” Transfer from a Lewis Acid Stabilized [RP4]Butterfly Anion

Jaap E. Borger, Andreas W. Ehlers, Martin Lutz, J. Chris Slootweg, Koop Lammertsma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Two [3+1] fragmentations of the Lewis acid stabilized bicyclo[1.1.0]tetraphosphabutanide Li[Mes*P4⋅ BPh3] (Mes*=2,4,6-tBu3C6H2) are reported. The reactions proceed by extrusion of a P1fragment, induced by either an imidazolium salt or phenylisocyanate, with release of the transient triphosphirene Mes*P3, which was isolated as a dimer and trapped by 1,3-cyclohexadiene as a Diels–Alder adduct. DFT quantum chemical computations were used to delineate the reaction mechanisms. These unprecedented pathways grant access to both P1- and P3-containing organophosphorus compounds in two simple steps from white phosphorus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie. International Edition
Issue number1
Early online date30 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017


  • anions
  • fragmentation
  • Lewis acids
  • organophosphorus compounds
  • phosphorus


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