Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Stable, Highly active Ni(0) Catalysts for Cross-Coupling Reactions

Technology #6797

Nickel catalysts can be both economical and powerful catalysts for applications in pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and polymer industries. Despite the potential for Ni catalysts in widespread processes like carbon-carbon coupling reactions, their application has been slowed due to challenges with stability and the hassles of catalysis under inert conditions. Due to the high demand and volatile supply of palladium, the most commonly used catalyst for carbon coupling reactions; there is a need for widespread adaptation of Ni catalysts to perform both routine and specialized chemistries in many chemical industries. The technology provided herein utilizes methacrylate derivatives as ligands to stabilized Ni – N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NiNHC). NiNHC’s are well known for their activity and catalytic breadth, but have historically been challenging to use outside of specialized reaction conditions. Our technology provides ease of use and broad catalysis space for Ni-NHC catalysts, providing cost savings and improved chemistries for the end user.

Optimal Stabilization of Ni(0)-NHC Through Methacrylate Ligands

Various Ni Catalysts have been described in the literature, however until now none have afforded sufficient stability for Ni(0) to warrant widespread adaptation in chemical research and manufacturing. Our catalysts have tunable stability and reactivity and allow the user to preform catalysis in ambient conditions without the need for specialized equipment. Furthermore, utilization of Ni catalysts instead of Pd will lead to large cost savings, especially in large scale manufacturing applications.


  • Novel Ni Catalysts for pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and polymer coupling reactions.


  • Cost savings over traditional Pd catalysts
  • Catalysis under ambient conditions
  • Broad catalytic scope