Electron-Rich, Diiron Bis(monothiolato) Carbonyls: C-S Bond Homolysis in a Mixed Valence Diiron Dithiolate

Qianli Li, Noémie Lalaoui, Toby J. Woods, Thomas B. Rauchfuss, Federica Arrigoni, Giuseppe Zampella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The synthesis and redox properties are presented for the electron-rich bis(monothiolate)s Fe2(SR)2(CO)2(dppv)2 for R = Me ([1]0), Ph ([2]0), CH2Ph ([3]0). Whereas related derivatives adopt C2-symmetric Fe2(CO)2P4 cores, [1]0-[3]0 have Cs symmetry resulting from the unsymmetrical steric properties of the axial vs equatorial R groups. Complexes [1]0-[3]0 undergo 1e- oxidation upon treatment with ferrocenium salts to give the mixed valence cations [Fe2(SR)2(CO)2(dppv)2]+. As established crystallographically, [3]+ adopts a rotated structure, characteristic of related mixed valence diiron complexes. Unlike [1]+ and [2]+ and many other [Fe2(SR)2L6]+ derivatives, [3]+ undergoes C-S bond homolysis, affording the diferrous sulfido-thiolate [Fe2(SCH2Ph)(S)(CO)2(dppv)2]+ ([4]+). According to X-ray crystallography, the first coordination spheres of [3]+ and [4]+ are similar, but the Fe-sulfido bonds are short in [4]+. The conversion of [3]+ to [4]+ follows first-order kinetics, with k = 2.3 × 10-6 s-1 (30 °C). When the conversion is conducted in THF, the organic products are toluene and dibenzyl. In the presence of TEMPO, the conversion of [3]+ to [4]+ is accelerated about 10×, the main organic product being TEMPO-CH2Ph. DFT calculations predict that the homolysis of a C-S bond is exergonic for [Fe2(SCH2Ph)2(CO)2(PR3)4]+ but endergonic for the neutral complex as well as less substituted cations. The unsaturated character of [4]+ is indicated by its double carbonylation to give [Fe2(SCH2Ph)(S)(CO)4(dppv)2]+ ([5]+), which adopts a bioctahedral structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4409-4418
Number of pages10
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 16 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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