Experimental insights into the structure and reactivity of frustrated Lewis pairs

Luca Rocchigiani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs), namely the combination of a Lewis acid (LA) and a Lewis base (LB) that cannot fulfil their natural propensity to form stable Lewis adducts, have been recently exploited to activate small molecules, such as H2 and CO2, and have drawn much interest, due to their applicability in metal‐free catalytic reactions. This review focuses mainly on the experimental studies of both the structure and reactivity of FLPs providing a starting body of evidence to elucidate the mechanism of their action. Important insights coming from NMR spectroscopy, X‐ray diffraction and other experimental techniques are highlighted and discussed. In particular, evidence about the tendency of LA and LB to interact in the absence of a substrate are commented on for both inter‐ and intramolecular FLPs, underlining the role played by the structure of LA and LB in determining the level of interaction. Next, the effect of the structure of FLPs on the kinetics and thermodynamics of substrate activation is illustrated, with a particular focus on catalytic hydrogenation reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-149
Number of pages15
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number2
Early online date2 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015

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