Phosphonothioate Hydrolysis Turnover by Cp2MoCl2 and Silver Nanoparticles

The metallocene bis­(cyclopentadienyl)­molybdenum­(IV) dichloride (Cp2MoCl2; Cp = η5-C5H5) is the first organometallic compound to promote the hydrolysis of phosphonothioates with selective P–S scission in a stoichiometric fashion. This report shows that silver nanoparticles capped with borohydride ions promote turnover in this hydrolytic process, as indicated by 31P NMR studies on the reaction of O,S-diethyl phenylphosphonothioate (DEPP) with Cp2MoCl2 (pH 7). This is the first example of the joint use of nanoparticles and molybdenum metallocenes to promote phosphonothioate hydrolysis. Initial results indicate the turnover may be due to free Ag+(aq) ions present in the solution that arise either from the slow dissolution of the nanoparticles or from interactions with the Ag nanoparticle surface.