Organo ruthenium-nickel dithiolates with redox-responsive nickel sites

Geoffrey M. Chambers, Raja Angamuthu, Danielle L Gray, Thomas Rauchfuss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Described is a new family of RuNi dithiolates featuring geometrically flexible Ni centers, which enable both acid-base and redox chemistry, behavior that is characteristic of the hydrogenases. Treatment of Ni(pdt)(dxpe) with (cymene)2Ru2Cl4 affords the salt [(cymene)Ru(Cl)(pdt)Ni(diphos)]Cl (pdt2- = 1,3-propanedithiolate, diphos = dppe = 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane ([1Cl]Cl) and diphos = dcpe = 1,2-bis(dicyclohexylphosphino)ethane ([2Cl]Cl)). Cyclic voltammetry revealed that in CH2Cl2 solution [1Cl]Cl reduces irreversibly near -1.6 V vs Fc0/+ followed by the appearance of a reversible 1e - couple assigned to the [1]0/+ couple. Reduction of [1Cl]Cl and [2Cl]Cl with cobaltocene produced the neutral derivatives (cymene)Ru(pdt)Ni(diphos) ([1]0, [2]0). Crystallographic characterization of these compounds revealed short Ru-Ni distance of 2.5539(5) ([1]0) and 2.600(3) Å ([2]0). The 2e- reduction of these chlorides converts the Ni site from square planar to tetrahedral, highlighting the flexibility of the Ni center in these complexes. Variable-temperature NMR studies show that [1]0 and [2]0 are dynamic by virtue of ring flipping in the RuNi(pdt) core. Complexes [1] 0 and [2]0 are basic: their conjugate acids, [H1] + and [H2]+, exhibit pKaPhCN values of 18.94 and 21.65, respectively. Crystallographic characterization of [H1] + as its aryl borate salt revealed an unsymmetrical Ru-H···Ni interaction and confirmed that the Ni center converted from tetrahedral to square planar, again demonstrating the flexibility of this site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6324-6329
Number of pages6
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 11 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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