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Issue 19, 2014
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The surprising lability of bis(2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine)chromium(III) complexes

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Abstract

The complex [Cr(tpy)(O3SCF3)3] (tpy = 2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine) is readily made from [Cr(tpy)Cl3] and is a convenient precursor to [Cr(tpy)2][PF6]3 and to [Cr(tpy)(4′-(4-tolyl)tpy)][PF6]3 and [Cr(tpy)(5,5′′-Me2tpy)][PF6]3 (4′-(4-tolyl)tpy = 4′-(4-tolyl)-2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine; 5,5′′-Me2tpy = 5,5′′-dimethyl-2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine); these are the first examples of heteroleptic bis(tpy) chromium(III) complexes. The single crystal structures of 2{[Cr(tpy)2][PF6]3}·5MeCN, [Cr(tpy)(4′-(4-tolyl)tpy)][PF6]3·3MeCN and [Cr(tpy)(5,5′′-Me2tpy)][PF6]3·3MeCN have been determined. Each cation contains the expected octahedral {Cr(tpy)2}3+ unit; in all three structures, the need to accommodate three anions per cation and the solvent molecules prevents the formation of a grid-like array of cations that is typical of many lattices containing {M(tpy)2}2+ motifs. Three reversible electrochemical processes are observed for [Cr(tpy)(4′-(4-tolyl)tpy)][PF6]3 and [Cr(tpy)(5,5′′-Me2tpy)][PF6]3, consistent with those documented for [Cr(tpy)2]3+. At pH 6.36, aqueous solutions of [Cr(tpy)2][PF6]3 are stable for at least two months. However, contrary to the expectations of the d3 Cr3+ ion being a kinetically inert metal centre, the tpy ligands in [Cr(tpy)2]3+ are labile in the presence of base; absorption and 1H NMR spectroscopies have been used to monitor the effects of adding NaOH to aqueous and CD3OD solutions, respectively, of the homo- and heteroleptic complexes. Ligand dissociation is also observed when [Bu4N]F is added to CD3OD solutions of the complexes, but in aqueous solution, [Cr(tpy)2][PF6]3 is stable in the presence of fluoride ion.

Graphical abstract: The surprising lability of bis(2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine)chromium(iii) complexes

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The article was received on 20 Jan 2014, accepted on 24 Mar 2014 and first published on 31 Mar 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4DT00200H
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Citation: Dalton Trans., 2014,43, 7227-7235
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    The surprising lability of bis(2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine)chromium(III) complexes

    E. C. Constable, C. E. Housecroft, M. Neuburger, J. Schönle and J. A. Zampese, Dalton Trans., 2014, 43, 7227
    DOI: 10.1039/C4DT00200H

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