The first examples of carbene-cadmium complexes are reported from the reactions of a variety of imidazol-2-ylidenes or imidazolin-2-ylidenes with dimethylcadmium. Four new carbene complexes are characterized by NMR spectroscopy (1H , 13C and 113Cd). The cadmium centers are strongly shifted downfield (100 -150 ppm) by interaction with the carbenes. X-ray structures are reported for three carbene-cadmium 1:1 adducts. The cadmium centers exhibit distorted trigonal-planar geometries in which the carbene ligands have an average 18.2 pm longer bond distance to cadmium compared to the methyl groups. The planes of cadmium coordination are twisted with respect to the plane of the imidazole ring. The more basic imidazolin-2-ylidene is shown to displace imidazol-2-ylidenes from the cadmium center.
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