Mono-N-protected amino acid ligands stabilize dimeric palladium(ii) complexes of importance to C–H functionalization† †Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental procedures, analytical and spectral characterization data for all new compounds, and crystallographic information files (CIF) for compounds 2, 6a–c, 15, 16, 17, S1.4, and S5.1. CCDC 1544213–1544221. For ESI and crystallographic data in CIF or other electronic format see DOI: 10.1039/c7sc01674c