Oxidation-state-dependent reactivity and catalytic properties of a Rh(I) complex formed from a redox-switchable hemilabile ligand

Caroline S. Slone, Chad A Mirkin*, Glenn P.A. Yap, Ilia A. Guzei, Arnold L. Rheingold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The synthesis and characterization of a phosphinoalkylarene, redox-switchable hemilabile ligand (RHL), (η5-C5H5)Fe(η5-C5H4C6H4OCH2CH2PPh2) (1), are reported. This ligand, which incorporates a redox-active ferrocenyl group, exhibits oxidation-state-dependent bonding properties and, hence, affords electrochemical control over the electronic and steric environments of bound transition metal centers. Two equivalents of 1 complex to Rh(I) to yield a bis(phosphine), η6-arene complex [(η16-(η5-C5H5)Fe(η5-C5H4C6H4OCH2CH2PPh2))(η1-(η5 -C5H5)Fe(η5- C5H4C6H4OCH2CH2PPh2))Rh]+BF4- (2). Single-crystal X-ray diffraction studies of 2·1.25CH2Cl2, as well as solution spectroscopic data of 2, are consistent with this formulated piano-stool geometry. Foremost, the properties of 2 as a function of bound RHL state-of-charge are extensively investigated. Interestingly, 2D 1H NMR exchange spectroscopy (EXSY) studies demonstrate significantly faster intramolecular η6-arene, free arene exchange rates only upon oxidation of the ligand chelated to the Rh(I) center, as found in 22+. This faster exchange rate was used as a qualitative measure of the increased lability of the η6-aryl group upon RHL oxidation. Moreover, activation parameters measured for the arene-arene exchange reaction of 22+ also support a decrease in the Rh(I)-arene interaction only upon oxidation of the ferrocenyl group on the bound η6-arene moiety. In addition, changes in the stoichiometric and catalytic reactivity of 2 upon RHL oxidation are consistent with the observed charge-dependent arene-arene exchange behavior. Significantly, labilization of a weakly bound η6-arene moiety in 22+ results in substantial increases in both the acetonitrile bonding affinity and allyl ethyl ether isomerization activity of the Rh(I)-RHL complex. In contrast, no significant changes in the reactivity of 2 were observed upon oxidation of the ligand which contained the ferrocenylarene not bound to the Rh(I) center, as found in 2+. This dependence of complex reactivity on RHL oxidation state demonstrates the utility of such novel metal complexes for the reversible, electrochemical control of transition metal center small molecule uptake or catalytic activity via the selective labilization of weakly coordinating groups upon ligand oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10743-10753
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number44
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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