The reaction of [Li(THF)4][1,8-μ-(Mes2B)C10H6] with HgCl2 affords [1,1′-(Hg)-[8-(Mes2B)C10H6]2] (3) or [1-(ClHg)-8-(Mes2B)C10H6] (4), depending on the stoichiometry of the reagents. These two new compounds have been characterized by 1H, 13C, 11B and 199Hg NMR, elemental analysis and X-ray crystallography. The cyclic voltammogram of 3 in THF shows two distinct waves observed at E1/2 −2.31 V and −2.61 V, corresponding to the sequential reductions of the two boron centers. Fluoride titration experiments monitored by electrochemistry suggest that 3 binds tightly to one fluoride anion and more loosely to a second one. Theses conclusions have been confirmed by a UV-vis titration experiment which indicates that the first fluoride binding constant (K1) is greater than 108 M−1 while the second (K2) equals 5.2 (± 0.4) × 103 M−1. The fluoride binding properties of 3 have been compared to those of [1-(Me2B)-8-(Mes2B)C10H6] (1) and [1-((2,6-Me2-4-Me2NC6H2)Hg)-8-(Mes2B)C10H6] (2). Both experimental and computational results indicate that its affinity for fluoride anions is comparable to that of 2 but significantly lower than that of the diborane 1. In particular, the fluoride binding constants of 1, 2 and 3 in chloroform are respectively equal to 5.0 (± 0.2) × 105 M−1, 1.0 (± 0.2) × 103 M−1 and 1.7 (± 0.1) × 103 M−1. Determination of the crystal structures of the fluoride adducts [S(NMe2)3][1–μ2-F] and [S(NMe2)3][3–μ2-F] along with computational results indicate that the higher fluoride binding constant of 1 arises from a strong chelate effect involving two fluorophilic boron centers.
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