Influence of Ancillary Ligands in the Chemistry of Transition Metal σ-Complexes
This thesis work is based on an investigation of intermediates involved in various metal mediated catalytic reactions such as hydrogenation, hydroboration, functionalization of methane etc. An intermediate dictates the energetics of the catalytic cycle of these reactions. Therefore, it is important to study such types of intermediates in order to design a better catalyst. These intermediates are called σ-complexes in which a σ-bond is coordinated to the metal center at some stage of the reaction coordinate. These species are rarely stable at ambient conditions which create difficulties in exploring their chemistry. Our aim is to study the effect of ancillary ligands on the coordination properties of a σ-bond ligand. We chose two different classes of σ-complexes – one contains a B–H σ-bond as a ligand, i.e., σ-borane complex and another contains a H–H σ-bond as a ligand, i.e., σ-dihydrogen complex. Both M–H–B and M–H2 interactions are 3-center-2-electron coordination bonds comprised of two bonding components. One is σ-donation, which is present in both and another is π-back donation from the metal center, which is negligible in the σ-borane complexes contrary to the σ-dihydrogen complexes. The bonding characteristics of M–H–B and M–H2 interactions suggest that an electron deficient metal center is necessary to study the σ-borane complexes with reasonable stability. Thus, we selected an early transition metal, i.e., Cr(0) bearing arene and CO ancillary ligands, for studying the σ-borane complexes. On the other hand, the cis-dihydrogen/hydride and cis-dihydrogen chloride complexes were studied on a late transition metal center, i.e., Ru(II) bearing phosphine and N–N bidentate ligands. Ammonia-borane is known to be a potential hydrogen storage material. Therefore, we picked up the catalytic dehydrogenation reaction of this compound and intended to investigate the interaction between a metal center and the BH σ-bonds of amine-boranes. We characterized the σ-borane complexes [(η6-arene)Cr(CO)2(η1-H–BH2•NMe3)] (arene = fluorobenzene, benzene, and mesitylene), and observed an interesting correlation between the electronics and stability of these species. This was the first report of σ-borane systems possessing an η6-arene ligand. A prototype homobimetallic σ-borane complex, [(η6-C6H5CH2NMe2•BH2–HCr(CO)5)Cr(CO)3] was characterized using single crystal X-ray crystallography. An intramolecular σ-borane complex, (η1-(η6-C6H5CH2NMe2•BH2–H))Cr(CO)2 was found to possess an interesting chelation of the η6-arene, and BH coordination sites of its amine-borane moiety with the Cr(0) center. These σ-borane complexes showed an interesting dynamics in the binding interface between the metal center and the borane ligand. Free energy of activation (ΔG#) for this process was estimated to be 30-40 kJ/mol. To explore certain σ-dihydrogen complexes we investigated the chemistry of cis-dihydrogen/hydride complexes of Ru(II) bearing phosphine and N-N bidentate ligands cis,trans-[RuH(η2-H2)(PPh3)2(N-N)][OTf] (N-N = 2, 2′-bipyridyl, 2, 2′-bipyrimidine) in detail. In those cases, we established that the adjacent hydride ligand has large influence on the dihydrogen coordination. The η2-H2 and hydride ligands showed a single 1H NMR spectral signal due to fast site exchange among each other. We established the mechanism and calculated the free energy of activation (ΔG# = 8-13 kJ/mol) of this dynamics. These complexes were found to be stable at ambient conditions although, a labile dihydrogen ligand is present in the coordination sphere of the metal center. In fact, we could obtain the single crystals of cis,trans-[RuH(η2-H2)(PPh3)2(bpy)][OTf]. The molecular structure of a σ-complex in which a σ-bond (before it gets completely formed or broken) acts as a ligand is what fascinates this area in chemistry. A cis-dihydrogen chloride complex, cis,trans-[RuCl(η2-H2)(PPh3)2(bpm)][OTf] was characterized unambiguously using NMR spectroscopy. The H-H distance (dHH) for the η2-H2 ligand of these complexes were estimated to be 0.9-1.0 Å. We attempted to observe some σ-methane species spectroscopically at low temperatures. Unfortunately, these species were quite unstable for exhibiting the NMR spectral signals even at low temperatures. Nevertheless, we investigated the reactivity of cis,trans-[RuHX(PPh3)2(N-N)] (X = H, Cl; N-N = 2, 2′-bipyridyl, 2, 2′-bipyrimidine) towards a methylating agent, CH3OTf. This reaction resulted in methane evolution by the combination of the hydride ligand of a Ru(II) complex and the CH3+ moiety of CH3OTf. This reaction was carried out in a sealed tube inside a NMR probe at ~183 K and monitored for a long period of time; however, the methane bound metal species was not observed. Perhaps, the longevity of this class of σ-methane complex falls below the NMR time scale.
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