Synthesis of Diiron(I) Dithiolato Carbonyl Complexes

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Virtually all organosulfur compounds react with Fe(0) carbonyls to give the title complexes. These reactions are reviewed in light of major advances over the past few decades, spurred by interest in Fe2(μ-SR)2(CO)x centers at the active sites of the [FeFe]-hydrogenase enzymes. The most useful synthetic route to Fe2(μ-SR)2(CO)6 involves the reaction of thiols with Fe2(CO)9 and Fe3(CO)12. Such reactions can proceed via mono-, di-, and triiron intermediates. The reactivity of Fe(0) carbonyls toward thiols is highly chemoselective, and the resulting dithiolato complexes are fairly rugged. Thus, many complexes tolerate further synthetic elaboration directed at the organic substituents. A second major route involves alkylation of Fe2(μ-S2)(CO)6, Fe2(μ-SH)2(CO)6, and Li2Fe2(μ-S)2(CO)6. This approach is especially useful for azadithiolates Fe2[(μ-SCH2)2NR](CO)6. Elaborate complexes arise via addition of the FeSH group to electrophilic alkenes, alkynes, and carbonyls. Although the first example of Fe2(μ-SR)2(CO)6 was prepared from ferrous reagents, ferrous compounds are infrequently used, although the Fe(II)(SR)2 + Fe(0) condensation reaction is promising. Almost invariably low-yielding, the reaction of Fe3(CO)12, S8, and a variety of unsaturated substrates results in C-H activation, affording otherwise inaccessible derivatives. Thiones and related C< - 'S-containing reagents are highly reactive toward Fe(0), often giving complexes derived from substituted methanedithiolates and C-H activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7043-7077
Number of pages35
JournalChemical reviews
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 22 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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