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The reactions of (2,6-difluorophenyl)phenylmethanone (2,6-F2C6H3–C(O)–C6H5) (1) and (2,6-difluorophenyl)phenylmethanimine (2,6-F2C6H3–C(NH)–C6H5) (3) with Fe(PMe3)4 afforded different selective C–F/C–H bond activation products. The reaction of 1 with Fe(PMe3)4 gave rise to bis-chelate iron(II) complex [C6H5–C(O)–3-FC6H3)Fe(PMe3)]2 (2) via C–F bond activation. The reaction of 3 with Fe(PMe3)4 delivered chelate hydrido iron(II) complex 2,6-F2C6H3–C(NH)–C6H4)Fe(H)(PMe3)3 (4) through C–H bond activation. The DFT calculations show the detailed elementary steps of the mechanism of formation of hydrido complex 4 and indicate 4 is the kinetically preferred product. Complex 4 reacted with HCl, CH3Br and CH3I delivered the chelate iron halides (2,6-F2C6H3–C(NH)–C6H4)Fe(PMe3)3X (X = Cl (5); Br (6); I (7)). A ligand (PMe3) replacement by CO of 4 was observed giving (2,6-F2C6H3–C(NH)–C6H4)Fe(H)(CO)(PMe3)2 (8). The chelate ligand exchange occurred through the reaction of 4 with salicylaldehydes. The reaction of 4 with Me3SiCCH afforded (2,6-F2C6H3–C(N)–C6H5)Fe(CC–SiMe3)(PMe3)3 (11). A reaction mechanism from 4 to 11 was discussed with the support of IR monitoring. The molecular structures of complexes 2, 4, 6, 7, 10 and 11 were determined by X-ray diffraction.
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