Control of cerium oxidation state through metal complex secondary structures†
A series of alkali metal cerium diphenylhydrazido complexes, Mx(py)y[Ce(PhNNPh)4], M = Li, Na, and K, x = 4 (Li and Na) or 5 (K), and y = 4 (Li), 8 (Na), or 7 (K), were synthesized to probe how a secondary coordination sphere would modulate electronic structures at a cerium cation. The resulting electronic structures of the heterobimetallic cerium diphenylhydrazido complexes were found to be strongly dependent on the identity of the alkali metal cations. When M = Li+ or Na+, the cerium(III) starting material was oxidized with concomitant reduction of 1,2-diphenylhydrazine to aniline. Reduction of 1,2-diphenylhydrazine was not observed when M = K+, and the complex remained in the cerium(III) oxidation state. Oxidation of the cerium(III) diphenylhydrazido complex to the Ce(IV) diphenylhydrazido one was achieved through a simple cation exchange reaction of the alkali metals. UV-Vis spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, electrochemistry, magnetic susceptibility, and DFT studies were used to probe the oxidation state and the electronic changes that occurred at the metal centre.