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The QTAIM Approach to Chemical Bonding Between Transition Metals and Carbocyclic Rings: A Combined Experimental and Theoretical Study of (η5-C5H5)Mn(CO)3, (η6-C6H6)Cr(CO)3, and (E)-{(η5-C5H4)CFCF(η5-C5H4)}(η5-C5H5)2Fe2

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posted on 28.01.2009, 00:00 by Louis J. Farrugia, Cameron Evans, Dieter Lentz, Max Roemer
Experimental charge densities for (C5H5)Mn(CO)3 (2), (η6-C6H6)Cr(CO)3 (3), and (E)-{(η5-C5H4)CFCF(η5-C5H4)}(η5-C5H5)2Fe2 (4) have been obtained by multipole refinement of high-resolution X-ray diffraction data at 100 K. The resultant densities were analyzed using the quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM). The electronic structures of these and related π-hydrocarbyl complexes have also been studied by ab initio density functional theory calculations, and a generally good agreement between theory and experiment with respect to the topological parameters was observed. The topological parameters indicate significant metal−ring covalency. A consistent area of disagreement concerns the topology of the metal−ring interactions. It is shown that because of the shared-shell bonding between the metal and the ring carbons, an annulus of very flat density ρ and very small ▽ρ is formed, which leads to topologically unstable structures close to catastrophe points. This in turn leads to unpredictable numbers of metal−C bond paths for ring sizes greater than four and fewer M−C bond paths than expected on the basis of the formal hapticity. This topological instability is a general feature of metal−π-hydrocarbyl interactions and means that a localized approach based on individual M−Cring bond paths does not provide a definitive picture of the chemical bonding in these systems. However, other QTAIM indicators, such as the virial paths, the delocalization indices, and the source function, clearly demonstrate that for the n-hapto (ηn-CnHn)M unit, there is generally a very similar level of chemical bonding for all M−Cring interactions, as expected on the basis of chemical experience.

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