Metal-Metal Interaction in Fischer Carbene Complexes: A Study of Ferrocenyl and Biferrocenyl Tungsten Alkylidene Complexes

Belinda van der Westhuizen, J. Matthaeus Speck, Marcus Korb, Joachim Friedrich, Daniela I. Bezuidenhout, Heinrich Lang

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18 Citations (Scopus)


A series of ferrocenyl (Fc = ferrocenyl; fc = ferrocen-1,1'-diyl) and biferrocenyl (Bfc = 1',1 ''-biferrocenyl; bfc = 1',1 ''-biferrocen-1,1'''-diyl) mono- and biscarbene tungsten(0) complexes of the type [(CO)(5)W=C(OMe)R] (1, R = Fe; 3, R = Bfc) and [(CO)(5)W=C(OMe)-R'-(OMe)C=W(CO)(5)] (2, R' = fc; 4, R' = bfc) were synthesized according to the classical synthetic methodology by reacting W(CO)(6) with LiR (R = Fc, fc, bfc), followed by a subsequent alkylation using methyl trifluoromethanesulfonate. Electrochemical investigations were carried out on these complexes to get a closer insight into the electronic properties of 1-4. The ferrocenyl and biferrocenyl moieties in 1-4 show reversible one-electron redox events. It was further found that the Fischer carbene unit is reducible in an electrochemical one-electron transfer process. For the tungsten carbonyl moieties, irreversible oxidation processes were found. In addition, charge transfer studies were performed on 1-4 using in situ UV-vis-NIR and infrared spectroelectrochemical techniques. During the UV-vis-NIR investigations, typical low energy transitions for the mixed-valent biferrocenyl unit were found. A further observed-high energy NIR absorption is attributed to a metal-metal charge transfer transition between the tungsten carbonyl fragment and the ferrocenyl/biferrocenyl group in the corresponding oxidized states, which can be described as class II systems according to Robin and Day. This assignment was verified by infrared spectroelectrochemical studies. The electrochemical investigations are supported by density functional theory calculations. The structural properties of 1-4 in the solid state were investigated by single-crystal X-ray diffraction studies showing no substituent effects on bond lengths and angles. The biferrocenyl derivatives exhibit syn-conformation of the ferrocenyl and carbene building blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14253-14263
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


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