The Plenio group produced several bis-NHC complexes and tested their catalytic activity in ring-closing metathesis reactions. Critical to the speed of the metathesis is the rate of cleavage of the most labile ligand, so that there will be a vacant site. The rate of cleavage of this ligand also depends on the bonding situation between Ru and NHC.

It is possible to obtain information on the bonding situation from dynamic NMR spectroscopy. Through the analysis of the rotational barriers/bond strengths in various bis-NHC systems we could contribute to the characterization of the NHC ligands and their influence on the catalytic activity of the complexes.

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1 A. Kolmer, L. Kaltschnee, V. Schmidts, L. H. Peeck, H. Plenio, C. M. Thiele, The influence of electronic modifications on rotational barriers of bis-NHC-complexes as observed by dynamic NMR spectroscopy, Magn. Reson. Chem. 2013, 51, 695–700.