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Synthesis, Structure, and Reactivity of the Sterically Crowded Th3+ Complex (C5Me5)3Th Including Formation of the Thorium Carbonyl, [(C5Me5)3Th(CO)][BPh4]

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posted on 27.02.2017, 18:22 by Ryan R. Langeslay, Guo P. Chen, Cory J. Windorff, Alan K. Chan, Joseph W. Ziller, Filipp Furche, William J. Evans
The Th3+ complex, (C5Me5)3Th, has been isolated despite the fact that tris­(pentamethylcyclopentadienyl) complexes are highly reactive due to steric crowding and few crystallographically characterizable Th3+ complexes are known due to their highly reducing nature. Reaction of (C5Me5)2ThMe2 with [Et3NH]­[BPh4] produces the cationic thorium complex [(C5Me5)2ThMe]­[BPh4] that can be treated with KC5Me5 to generate (C5Me5)3ThMe, 1. The methyl group on (C5Me5)3ThMe can be removed with [Et3NH]­[BPh4] to form [(C5Me5)3Th]­[BPh4], 2, the first cationic tris­(pentamethylcyclopentadienyl) metal complex, which can be reduced with KC8 to yield (C5Me5)3Th, 3. Complexes 13 have metrical parameters consistent with the extreme steric crowding that previously has given unusual (C5Me5) reactivity to (C5Me5)3M complexes in reactions that form less crowded (C5Me5)2M-containing products. However, neither sterically induced reduction nor (η1-C5Me5) reactivity is observed for these complexes. (C5Me5)3Th, which has a characteristic EPR spectrum consistent with a d1 ground state, has the capacity for two-electron reduction via Th3+ and sterically induced reduction. However, it reacts with MeI to make two sterically more crowded complexes, (C5Me5)3ThI, 4, and (C5Me5)3ThMe, 1, rather than (C5Me5)2Th­(Me)­I. Complex 3 also forms more crowded complexes in reactions with I2, PhCl, and Al2Me6, which generate (C5Me5)3ThI, (C5Me5)3ThCl, and (C5Me5)3ThMe, 1, respectively. The reaction of (C5Me5)3Th, 3, with H2 forms the known (C5Me5)3ThH as the sole thorium-containing product. Surprisingly, (C5Me5)3ThH is also observed when (C5Me5)3Th is combined with 1,3,5,7-cyclooctatetraene. [(C5Me5)3Th]­[BPh4] reacts with tetrahydrofuran (THF) to make [(C5Me5)3Th­(THF)]­[BPh4], 2-THF, which is the first (C5Me5)3M of any kind that does not have a trigonal planar arrangement of the (C5Me5) rings. It is also the first (C5Me5)3M complex that does not ring-open THF. [(C5Me5)3Th]­[BPh4], 2, reacts with CO to generate a product characterized as [(C5Me5)3Th­(CO)]­[BPh4], 5, the first example of a molecular thorium carbonyl isolable at room temperature. These results have been analyzed using density functional theory calculations.

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