Rhodathiaboranes with 'anomalous' electron counts: Synthesis, structure and reactivity

Kerry J. Adams, Thomas D. McGrath, Georgina M. Rosair, Andrew S. Weller, Alan J. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Analysis of the structures of 8,8-(PPh3)2-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10 and 9,9-(PPh3)2-9,7,8-nido-RhC2B8H 11 by RMS misfit calculations has confirmed that these rhodaheteroboranes possess nido 11-vertex cluster geometries in apparent contravention of Wade's rules. However, examination of the molecular structures of both species shows that the {RhP2} planes are inclined by ca. 66° with respect to the metal-bonded SB3 or CB3 faces, and that two weak ortho-CH ? Rh agostic interactions occupy the vacant co-ordination position thereby created. As a consequence of these agostic bonds the Rh atom, and hence the overall cluster, is provided with an additional electron pair, meaning that their nido structures are now fully consistent with Wade's rules. The chelated diphosphine compound 8,8-(dppe)-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10 is similar to the PPh3 compound in showing the same agostic bonding. Attempts to prepare a bis-P(OMe)3 analogue result in ligand scavenging and the formation of 8,8,8-{P(OMe)3}3-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10. Similarly, reaction between Cs[6-arac/mo-SB9H12] and RhCl(dmpe)CO does not result in CO loss but in formation of 8,8-(dmpe)-8-(CO)-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10, shown to exist as a mixture of two of three possible rotamers. Deprotonation of 8,8-(PPh3)2-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10 and 8,8-(dppe)-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10 with MeLi yields the anions [1,1-(PPh3)2-1,2-doso-RhSB9H9] - and [1,1-dppe-1,2-closo-RhSB9H9]-, respectively, with octadecahedral cage structures. It is argued that anion formation causes the agostic bonding to be 'switched-off' and results in the cluster adopting the closo architecture predicted by Wade's rules. This structural change is fully reversible on reprotonation, and if reprotonation of [1,1-(dppe)-1,2-closo-RhSB9H9]- is carried out in MeCN, the product 8,8-(dppe)-8-(MeCN)-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10 forms. Interestingly, 8,8-(dppe)-8-(MeCN)-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10 reconverts to 8,8-(dppe)-8,7-nido-RhSB9H10 on standing in CDCl3, suggesting that the agostic bonding is sufficiently strong to displace co-ordinated MeCN. All new compounds are fully characterised by multinuclear NMR spectroscopy and, in many cases, by single crystal X-ray diffraction. © 1998 Elsevier Science S.A.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-329
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 1998


  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Rhodathiaboranes
  • Wade's rules
  • X-ray diffraction


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