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Crystal structure of NiFe(CO)5[tris(pyridyl-meth-yl)aza-phosphatrane]: a synthetic mimic of the NiFe hydrogenase active site incorporating a pendant pyridine base.

  • Author(s): Sutthirat, Natwara;
  • Ziller, Joseph W;
  • Yang, Jenny Y;
  • Thammavongsy, Zachary
  • et al.

The reaction of Ni(TPAP)(COD) {where TPAP = [(NC5H4)CH2]3P(NC2H4)3N} with Fe(CO)5 resulted in the isolation of the title heterobimetallic NiFe(TPAP)(CO)5 complex di-μ-carbonyl-tricarbon-yl[2,8,9-tris-(pyridin-2-yl-meth-yl)-2,5,8,9-tetra-aza-1-phosphabi-cyclo-[3.3.3]undeca-ne]ironnickel, [FeNi(C24H30N7P)(CO)5]. Characterization of the complex by 1H and 31P NMR as well as IR spectroscopy are presented. The structure of NiFe(TPAP)(CO)5 reveals three terminally bound CO mol-ecules on Fe0, two bridging CO mol-ecules between Ni0 and Fe0, and TPAP coordinated to Ni0. The Ni-Fe bond length is 2.4828 (4) Å, similar to that of the reduced form of the active site of NiFe hydrogenase (∼2.5 Å). Additionally, a proximal pendant base from one of the non-coordinating pyridine groups of TPAP is also present. Although involvement of a pendant base has been cited in the mechanism of NiFe hydrogenase, this moiety has yet to be incorporated in a structurally characterized synthetic mimic with key structural motifs (terminally bound CO or CN ligands on Fe). Thus, the title complex NiFe(TPAP)(CO)5 is an unique synthetic model for NiFe hydrogenase. In the crystal, the complex mol-ecules are linked by C-H⋯O hydrogen bonds, forming undulating layers parallel to (100). Within the layers, there are offset π-π [inter-centroid distance = 3.2739 (5) Å] and C-H⋯π inter-actions present. The layers are linked by further C-H⋯π inter-actions, forming a supra-molecular framework.

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