MicroED characterization of a robust cationic σ-alkane complex stabilized by the [B(3,5-(SF5)2C6H3)4]- anion, via on-grid solid/gas single-crystal to single-crystal reactivity

Laurence R. Doyle, Emily A. Thompson, Arron L. Burnage, Adrian C. Whitwood, Huw T. Jenkins, Stuart A. Macgregor, Andrew S. Weller

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Abstract

Microcrystalline (∼1 μm) [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(norbornadiene)][S-BArF4], [S-BArF4] = [B(3,5-(SF5)2C6H3)4]-, reacts with H2 in a single-crystal to single-crystal transformation to form the σ-alkane complex [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(norbornane)][S-BArF4], for which the structure was determined by microcrystal Electron Diffraction (microED), to 0.95 Å resolution, via an on-grid hydrogenation, and a complementary single-crystal X-ray diffraction study on larger, but challenging to isolate, crystals. Comparison with the [BArF4]- analogue [ArF = 3,5-(CF3)2(C6H3)] shows that the [S-BArF4]- anion makes the σ-alkane complex robust towards decomposition both thermally and when suspended in pentane. Subsequent reactivity with dissolved ethene in a pentane slurry, forms [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(ethene)2][S-BArF4], and the catalytic dimerisation/isomerisation of ethene to 2-butenes. The increased stability of [S-BArF4]- salts is identified as being due to increased non-covalent interactions in the lattice, resulting in a solid-state molecular organometallic material with desirable stability characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3661-3665
Number of pages5
JournalDalton Transactions
Volume51
Issue number9
Early online date3 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry

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