Probing the mechanistic and energetic basis for the Weak-Link approach to supramolecular coordination complexes

Bradley J. Holliday, You Moon Jeon, Chad A. Mirkin*, Charlotte L. Stern, Christopher D. Incarvito, Lev N. Zakharov, Roger D. Sommer, Arnold L. Rheingold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Through the Weak-Link Synthetic Approach, the unsymmetric hemilabile ligand, 1,4-bis-(2-diphenylphosphinoethoxy)naphthalene (7), has been used to prepare binuclear Rh(I) macrocycles in a two-step fashion. The intermediate structure, [(μ2141-(1,4-bi s(2-(diphenylphosphino)ethoxy)naphthalene))2Rh2] [BF4]2 (8), and several macrocyclic complexes, [(μ2-1,4-bis(2-(diphenylphosphino)ethoxy)naphthalene)2R h2(CH3CN)4] [BF4]2 (9), [(μ2-1,4-bis-(2-(diphenylphosphino)ethoxy)naphthalene)2 Rh2(CO)6][BF4]2 (10), and [(μ2-1,4-bis(2-(diphenylphosphino)ethoxy)naphthalene)2( CO)2Rh2(CH3CN)2][BF4] 2 (11), are reported herein. Additionally, the mononuclear Rh(I) complexes, [(η14:?η1-1,4-bis(2-(diphenylphos phino)ethoxy)-naphthalene)Rh] [BF4] (12) and [(η11-1,4-bis(2-(diphenylphosphino)ethoxy)naphth alene)-(CO)Rh(CH3CN)] [BF4] (13), were isolated and fully characterized. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction structures of 8, 9 (cis-, anti-), 11, and 12 were determined. 2-D solution NMR studies and the solid-state crystal structures of 8 and 12 suggest that the arenes bind to Rh(I) in predominantly an η4-fashion. The conversion of dimer 8 into monomer 12 was monitored under a variety of conditions. The kinetic investigation of this process as a function of temperature with a series of phosphine-based ligands present has afforded the thermo-chemical parameters of this conversion, which are consistent with an associative mechanism. Significantly, this work represents the first study aimed at gaining mechanistic insight into the conversion of the binuclear intermediates into the mononuclear products formed in the Weak-Link Approach. The high activation barrier and associative nature of this step is what allows one to efficiently synthesize targeted macrocyclic and higher-ordered structures via the approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5713-5725
Number of pages13
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 23 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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