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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reactivity and Properties of Metal Complexes Enabled by Flexible and Redox-Active Ligands with a Ferrocene Backbone.

  • Author(s): Huang, Wenliang
  • Diaconescu, Paula L
  • et al.

Our group has focused on the organometallic chemistry of rare-earth metals and actinides for a decade. By installing ferrocenediamide ligands at electropositive metal centers, we have been able to disclose unprecedented reactivity toward aromatic N-heterocycles, arenes, and other small molecules such as P4. Systematic studies employing X-ray crystallography, spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, and density functional theory calculations revealed that the ferrocene backbone could stabilize the electron-deficient metal through a donor-acceptor-type interaction. Most noteworthy is that this interaction can be readily turned on or off by the addition or removal of a Lewis base. In addition to its flexible coordination, the redox-active nature of the ferrocene backbone enabled us to explore redox-switchable transformations. The introduction of ferrocene-based ligands into organolanthanide chemistry not only helped us to study intriguing fundamental problems but also led to fruitful chemistry including small-molecule activation and controlled copolymerization reactions.

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