IMes is an abbreviation for organic compound that is a common ligand in organometallic chemistry. It is an N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC). The compound, a white solid, is often not isolated but instead is generated upon attachment to the metal centre.
First prepared by Arduengo, the heterocycle is synthesized by condensation of 2,4,6-trimethylaniline and glyoxal to give the diimine. In the presence of acid, this diimine condenses with formaldehyde to give the dimesityl imidazolium cation. This cation is the conjugate acid of the NHC.