A series of six dinuclear gold(I) complexes with bridging bidentate N-heterocycic carbene ligands (NHCs) of general formula Au2Br2LX (L = diNHC, X = 1–6) have been studied as catalysts in the intermolecular hydroalkoxylation of terminal and internal alkynes. The best catalytic results have been obtained by using Au2Br2L4, characterized by 2,6-diisopropylphenyl wingtip substituents and a methylene bridging group between the two NHC donors. Complex Au2Br2L4 has been structurally characterized for the first time in this work, showing the presence of intramolecular aurophiclic interaction in the solid state. In the adopted reaction conditions Au2Br2L4 is able to convert challenging substrates such as diphenylacetylene. Comparative catalytic tests by using the mononuclear gold(I) complexes AuIL7 and IPrAuCl have been performed in order to determine the possible presence of cooperative effects in the catalytic process.
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