Faculté des sciences

Piano-stool iron(ii) complexes as probes for the bonding of n-heterocyclic carbenes: indications for -acceptor ability

Mercs, Laszlo ; Labat, Gaël ; Neels, Antonia ; Ehlers, Andreas ; Albrecht, Martin

In: Organometallics, 2006, vol. 25, no. 23, p. 5648 -5656

A series of new piano-stool iron(II) complexes comprising mono- and bidentate chelating N-heterocyclic carbene ligands [Fe(cp)(CO)(NHC)(L)]X have been prepared and analyzed by spectroscopic, electrochemical, crystallographic, and theoretical methods. Selectively substituting the L site with a series of ligands going from carbene to pyridine to CO suggests that CO is the strongest π... Plus

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    Summary
    A series of new piano-stool iron(II) complexes comprising mono- and bidentate chelating N-heterocyclic carbene ligands [Fe(cp)(CO)(NHC)(L)]X have been prepared and analyzed by spectroscopic, electrochemical, crystallographic, and theoretical methods. Selectively substituting the L site with a series of ligands going from carbene to pyridine to CO suggests that CO is the strongest π acceptor, while the behavior of pyridine and carbene is nearly identical. This suggests that in these complexes comprising an electron-rich iron(cp)(carbene) fragment, N-heterocyclic carbenes are not pure σ donors but also moderate π acceptors. Theoretical calculations support this bonding model and indicate charge saturation at the metal as key for π back-bonding to N-heterocyclic carbenes. On the basis of voltammetric measurements, the Lever electrochemical parameter of these carbenes has been determined: EL = +0.29. Systematic substitution of the wingtip groups of the carbene revealed only subtle changes in the electronic properties of the iron center, thus providing a suitable methodology for ligand-induced fine-tuning of the coordinated metal.