a Faculty of Chemistry, Warsaw University of Technology, Noakowskiego 3, 00-664 Warsaw, Poland
b Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kasprzaka 44/52, 01-224 Warsaw, Poland
First published online 12 Apr 2019
Over the past 150 years, a certain mythology has arisen around the mechanistic pathways of the oxygenation of organometallics with non‐redox‐active metal centers as well as the character of products formed. Notably, there is a widespread perception that the formation of commonly encountered metal alkoxide species results from the auto‐oxidation reaction, in which a parent metal alkyl compound is oxidized by the metal alkylperoxide via oxygen transfer reaction. Now, harnessing a well‐defined zinc ethylperoxide incorporating a β‐diketiminate ligand, the investigated alkylperoxide compounds do not react with the parent metal alkyl complex as well as Et2Zn to form a zinc alkoxide. Upon treatment of the zinc ethylperoxide with Et2Zn, a previously unobserved ligand exchange process is favored. Isolation of a zinc hydroxide carboxylate as a product of decomposition of the parent zinc ethylperoxide demonstrates the susceptibility of the latter to O−O bond homolysis.