Gilman reagent
Overview
 
A Gilman reagent is a lithium
Lithium
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

 and copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 (diorganocopper
Organocopper compound
Organocopper compounds in organometallic chemistry contain carbon to copper chemical bonds. Organocopper chemistry is the science of organocopper compounds describing their physical properties, synthesis and reactions...

) reagent
Reagent
A reagent is a "substance or compound that is added to a system in order to bring about a chemical reaction, or added to see if a reaction occurs." Although the terms reactant and reagent are often used interchangeably, a reactant is less specifically a "substance that is consumed in the course of...

 compound, R2CuLi, where R is an organic radical. These are useful because they react with organic chloride
Chloride
The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine, a halogen, picks up one electron to form an anion Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. The chloride ion, and its salts such as sodium chloride, are very soluble in water...

s, bromide
Bromide
A bromide is a chemical compound containing bromide ion, that is bromine atom with effective charge of −1. The class name can include ionic compounds such as caesium bromide or covalent compounds such as sulfur dibromide.-Natural occurrence:...

s, and iodide
Iodide
An iodide ion is the ion I−. Compounds with iodine in formal oxidation state −1 are called iodides. This page is for the iodide ion and its salts. For information on organoiodides, see organohalides. In everyday life, iodide is most commonly encountered as a component of iodized salt,...

s to replace the halide group with an R group. This is extremely useful in creating larger molecules from smaller ones.
These reagents were discovered by Henry Gilman
Henry Gilman
Henry Gilman was an American organic chemist known as the father of organometallic chemistry, the field within which his most notable work was done. He discovered the Gilman reagent, which bears his name....

. Lithium dimethylcopper (CH3)2CuLi can be prepared by adding copper(I) iodide
Copper(I) iodide
Copper iodide is the inorganic compound with the formula CuI. It is also known as cuprous iodide. It is useful in a variety of applications ranging from organic synthesis to cloud seeding....

 to methyllithium in tetrahydrofuran
Tetrahydrofuran
Tetrahydrofuran is a colorless, water-miscible organic liquid with low viscosity at standard temperature and pressure. This heterocyclic compound has the chemical formula 4O. As one of the most polar ethers with a wide liquid range, it is a useful solvent. Its main use, however, is as a precursor...

 at −78 °C.
Encyclopedia
A Gilman reagent is a lithium
Lithium
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

 and copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 (diorganocopper
Organocopper compound
Organocopper compounds in organometallic chemistry contain carbon to copper chemical bonds. Organocopper chemistry is the science of organocopper compounds describing their physical properties, synthesis and reactions...

) reagent
Reagent
A reagent is a "substance or compound that is added to a system in order to bring about a chemical reaction, or added to see if a reaction occurs." Although the terms reactant and reagent are often used interchangeably, a reactant is less specifically a "substance that is consumed in the course of...

 compound, R2CuLi, where R is an organic radical. These are useful because they react with organic chloride
Chloride
The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine, a halogen, picks up one electron to form an anion Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. The chloride ion, and its salts such as sodium chloride, are very soluble in water...

s, bromide
Bromide
A bromide is a chemical compound containing bromide ion, that is bromine atom with effective charge of −1. The class name can include ionic compounds such as caesium bromide or covalent compounds such as sulfur dibromide.-Natural occurrence:...

s, and iodide
Iodide
An iodide ion is the ion I−. Compounds with iodine in formal oxidation state −1 are called iodides. This page is for the iodide ion and its salts. For information on organoiodides, see organohalides. In everyday life, iodide is most commonly encountered as a component of iodized salt,...

s to replace the halide group with an R group. This is extremely useful in creating larger molecules from smaller ones.
These reagents were discovered by Henry Gilman
Henry Gilman
Henry Gilman was an American organic chemist known as the father of organometallic chemistry, the field within which his most notable work was done. He discovered the Gilman reagent, which bears his name....

. Lithium dimethylcopper (CH3)2CuLi can be prepared by adding copper(I) iodide
Copper(I) iodide
Copper iodide is the inorganic compound with the formula CuI. It is also known as cuprous iodide. It is useful in a variety of applications ranging from organic synthesis to cloud seeding....

 to methyllithium in tetrahydrofuran
Tetrahydrofuran
Tetrahydrofuran is a colorless, water-miscible organic liquid with low viscosity at standard temperature and pressure. This heterocyclic compound has the chemical formula 4O. As one of the most polar ethers with a wide liquid range, it is a useful solvent. Its main use, however, is as a precursor...

 at −78 °C. In the reaction depicted below, the Gilman reagent is a methylating reagent reacting with an alkyne
Alkyne
Alkynes are hydrocarbons that have a triple bond between two carbon atoms, with the formula CnH2n-2. Alkynes are traditionally known as acetylenes, although the name acetylene also refers specifically to C2H2, known formally as ethyne using IUPAC nomenclature...

 in a conjugate addition, and the negative charge is trapped in a nucleophilic acyl substitution
Nucleophilic acyl substitution
Nucleophilic acyl substitution describes the substitution reaction involving nucleophiles and acyl compounds. Acyl compounds are carboxylic acid derivatives including esters, amides and acid halides...

 with the ester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

 group forming a cyclic enone
Enone
An enone is an unsaturated chemical compound or functional group consisting of a conjugated system of an alkene and a ketone. The simplest enone is methyl vinyl ketone or CH2=CHCOCH3....

.

Gilman reagents have complicated structures in crystalline form and in solution. Lithium dimethylcuprate is a dimer in diethyl ether
Diethyl ether
Diethyl ether, also known as ethyl ether, simply ether, or ethoxyethane, is an organic compound in the ether class with the formula . It is a colorless, highly volatile flammable liquid with a characteristic odor...

 forming an 8-membered ring with two lithium atoms coordinating between two methyl groups. Similarly, lithium diphenylcuprate forms a dimeric etherate, [{Li(OEt2)}(CuPh2)]2, in the solid state.



If the Li+ ions are rendered inert by complexation with the crown ether
Crown ether
Crown ethers are cyclic chemical compounds that consist of a ring containing several ether groups. The most common crown ethers are oligomers of ethylene oxide, the repeating unit being ethyleneoxy, i.e., -CH2CH2O-. Important members of this series are the tetramer , the pentamer , and the hexamer...

 12-crown-4
12-Crown-4
12-crown-4, also called 1,4,7,10-tetraoxacyclododecane and Lithium Ionophore V, is a crown ether with the formula C8H16O4. It is a cyclic tetramer of ethylene oxide which is specific for the lithium cation:-See also:*Crown ether...

, the isolated diorganylcuprate anions that remain adopt a linear coordination geometry
Coordination geometry
The term coordination geometry is used in a number of related fields of chemistry and solid state chemistry/physics.-Molecules:The coordination geometry of an atom is the geometrical pattern formed by atoms around the central atom....

at copper.


External links

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