Lewis acidic alkaline earth metal complexes with a perfluorinated diphenylamide ligand†
Alkaline earth metal (Ae) chemistry with the anion [N(C6F5)2]− has been explored. Deprotonation of the amine (C6F5)2NH, abbreviated in here as NFH, with 0.5 equivalent of AeN′′2 (N′′ = N(SiMe3)2) is fast and gave, dependent on the solvent, the complexes AeNF2, AeNF2·(THF)2 and AeNF2·(Et2O)2 (Ae = Mg, Ca, Sr). Using a 1/1 ratio, mixed amide complexes were obtained: NFAeN′′ (Ae = Mg, Ca, Sr). Crystal structures of the monomers AeNF2·(THF)2 (Ae = Mg, Ca, Sr) and AeNF2·(Et2O)2 (Ae = Mg, Ca) are presented and compared with those of AeN′′2·(THF)2. In addition, crystal structures of the homoleptic dimer (MgNF2)2 and the heteroleptic dimers (NFAeN′′)2 (Ae = Mg, Ca, Sr) are discussed. All structures are strongly influenced by very short Ae⋯F contacts down to circa 2.11 Å (Mg), 2.50 Å (Ca) and 2.73 Å (Sr). AIM analysis illustrates that, although Ae⋯F contacts are short, there is no bond-critical-point along this axis, indicating an essentially electrostatic interaction. The monomeric complexes feature strong C6F5⋯C6F5 π-stacking, resulting in unusually acute NF–Ae–NF angles as small as 95°. Heteroleptic (NFAeN′′)2 complexes retain their dimeric structure in C6D6 solution and there is no indication of ligand scrambling by the Schlenk equilibrium, suggesting that an electron withdrawing ligand may stabilize heteroleptic complexes. According to DFT calculations, the heteroleptic arrangement is 70 kJ mol−1 more stable than the homoleptic dimers. The Lewis acidity of MgNF2 has been quantified with the Gutmann–Beckett method and by calculation of the Fluoride-Ion-Affinity. The latter calculations show that the Lewis acidity of MgNF2 and CaNF2 is comparable to that of B(C6F5)3. Dimeric (MgNF2)2 fully abstracts Et3PO from Et3PO·B(C6F5)3 and may have potential in Lewis acid catalysis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Organometallic and coordination chemistry of the s-block metals