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Copper Corroles Are Inherently Saddled

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posted on 17.08.2009, 00:00 authored by Abraham B. Alemayehu, Emmanuel Gonzalez, Lars Kristian Hansen, Abhik Ghosh
X-ray crystallographic analyses of two sterically unhindered copper meso-triarylcorroles, Cu[5,15-P2-10-(4-MeOP)C] and Cu[5,15-(4-CF3P)2-10-(4-MeOP)C] (P = phenyl and C = corrole), revealed substantially saddled corrole rings. These results are in marked contrast to those on highly sterically hindered cobalt(III) and iridium(III) corroles, which exhibit planar corrole macrocycles. The solution to this conundrum is that copper corroles are inherently saddled, as a result of a specific copper(d)−corrole(π) orbital interaction. This orbital interaction results in a noninnocent corrole ligand, and the overall electronic structure may thus be described as CuII−corrole•2−. While many specific metal(d)−macrocycle(π) orbital interactions are known for nonplanar metalloporphyrins, this work provides a rare example of such an orbital interaction providing the actual driving force for a significant nonplanar distortion. Our findings on copper corroles, along with those of others on cobalt and iridium corroles, thus constitute an intriguing and somewhat counterintuitive chapter in the structural chemistry of metallocorroles.