The Partial Dehydrogenation of Aluminium Dihydrides
The reactions of a series of β-diketiminate stabilised aluminium dihydrides with ruthenium bis(phosphine), palladium bis(phosphine) and palladium cyclopentadienyl complexes is reported. In the case of ruthenium, alane coordination occurs with no evidence for hydrogen loss resulting in the formation of ruthenium complexes with a pseudo-octahedral geometry and cis-relation of phosphine ligands. These new ruthenium complexes have been characterised by multinuclear and variable temperature NMR spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy and single crystal X-ray diffraction. In the case of palladium, a series of structural snapshots of alane dehydrogenation have been isolated and crystallographically characterised. Variation of the palladium precursor and ligand on aluminium allows kinetic control over reactivity and isolation of intermetallic complexes that contain new Pd--Al and Pd--Pd interactions. These complexes differ by the ratio of H:Al (2:1, 1.5:1 and 1:1) with lower hydride content species forming with dihydrogen loss. A combination of X-ray and neutron diffraction studies have been used to interrogate the structures and provide confidence in the assignment of the number and position of hydride ligands. SS MAS 27Al NMR spectroscopy and calculations (DFT, QTAIM) have been used to gain an understanding of the dehydrogenation processes. The latter provide evidence for dehydrogenation being accompanied by metal–metal bond formation and an increased negative charge on Al due to the covalency of the new metal–metal bonds. To the best of our knowledge, we present the first structural information for intermediate species in alane dehydrogenation including a rare neutron diffraction study of a palladium–aluminium hydride complex. Furthermore, as part of these studies we have obtained the first SS 27Al NMR data on an aluminium(I) complex. Our findings are relevant to hydrogen storage, materials chemistry and catalysis.