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Electronic Structure of Ni2E2 Complexes (E = S, Se, Te) and a Global Analysis of M2E2 Compounds: A Case for Quantized E2n Oxidation Levels with n = 2, 3, or 4

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-04-22, 00:00 authored by Shu A. Yao, Vlad Martin-Diaconescu, Ivan Infante, Kyle M. Lancaster, Andreas W. Götz, Serena DeBeer, John F. Berry
The diamagnetic compounds Cp′2Ni2E2 (1: E = S, 2: E = Se, 3: E = Te; Cp′ = 1,2,3,4,-tetraisopropylcyclopentadienyl), first reported by Sitzmann and co-workers in 2001 [Sitzmann, H.; Saurenz, D.; Wolmershauser, G.; Klein, A.; Boese, R. Organometallics 2001, 20, 700], have unusual E···E distances, leading to ambiguities in how to best describe their electronic structure. Three limiting possibilities are considered: case A, in which the compounds contain singly bonded E22– units; case B, in which a three-electron E∴E half-bond exists in a formal E23– unit; case C, in which two E2– ions exist with no formal E–E bond. One-electron reduction of 1 and 2 yields the new compounds [Cp*2Co]­[Cp′2Ni2E2] (1red: E = S, 2red: E = Se; Cp* = 1,2,3,4,5-pentamethylcyclopentadieyl). Evidence from X-ray crystallography, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy suggest that reduction of 1 and 2 is Ni-centered. Density functional theory (DFT) and ab initio multireference methods (CASSCF) have been used to investigate the electronic structures of 13 and indicate covalent bonding of an E23– ligand with a mixed-valent Ni2(II,III) species. Thus, reduction of 1 and 2 yields Ni2(II,II) species 1red and 2red that bear unchanged E23– ligands. We provide strong computational and experimental evidence, including results from a large survey of data from the Cambridge Structural Database, indicating that M2E2 compounds occur in quantized E2 oxidation states of (2 × E2–), E23–, and E22–, rather than displaying a continuum of variable E–E bonding interactions.