Boronic ester functionalised 1,8-diboryl-naphthalene scaffolds: fluoride versus oxide chelation

Anna Booth, Petra Vasko, M. Ángeles Fuentes, Bart Cornelissen, Stephen Faulkner, Simon Aldridge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1,8-Bis(boronic ester) derivatives of naphthalene, 1,8-C10H6{B(OR)2}2, present an attractive target as receptors for the fluoride ion via B–F–B chelation, but are synthetically challenging to access due to the competing formation of a very stable anhydride containing a B–O–B motif. By contrast, unsymmetrical systems of the type 1,8-C10H6{B(OR)2}(BR′2) can be synthesized for (OR)2 = 1,2-O2C6H4 (i.e. Cat) and R′ = Mes. This system is shown to be competent for the uptake of F−, making use of a chelating mode of action and the formation of a bridging B–F–B motif between the two boron centres. However, both experimental and quantum chemical studies indicate that the μ2-F adduct is the kinetic product of fluoride uptake, with an alternative structural motif featuring a terminal B–F bond and a B–O–B bridge using one of the catechol oxygens being (marginally) more favourable thermodynamically.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberd2dt02888c
Pages (from-to)15783-15791
Number of pages9
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluoride
  • Boron
  • Chelation


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