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Stretch Out or Fold Back? Conformations of Dinuclear Gold(I) N‑Heterocyclic Carbene Macrocycles

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posted on 06.07.2015, 00:00 by Stefanie Kobialka, Christina Müller-Tautges, Melanie T. S. Schmidt, Gregor Schnakenburg, Oldamur Hollóczki, Barbara Kirchner, Marianne Engeser
We report the synthesis and characterization of 12 new dinuclear gold­(I) N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) complexes and the corresponding imidazolium precursors. The focus lies in a systematic study of conformational changes and intra- and intermolecular gold–gold and π–π interactions of dinuclear gold­(I) carbene complexes. Common to all members of the series of gold macrocycles are NHC ligands on the basis of imidazole with ethyl side chains and bromide as well as hexafluorophosphate counterions, respectively. The compounds vary in the length of a flexible alkyl linker between the NHC units. For the methylene and ethylene bridged macrocycles, a ring inversion movement can be observed by VT-NMR. In total, 11 molecular structures have been characterized by X-ray diffraction. Open ring conformations with intermolecular π–π and Au–Au interactions prevail, but a backfolded conformation with a short intramolecular Au–Au distance has been found for the ethylene-bridged species. The presence of Au–Au interactions could be proven by quantum chemical calculations.