Iron and Cobalt Diazoalkane Complexes Supported by β-Diketiminate Ligands: A Synthetic, Spectroscopic, and Computational Investigation

Simon J. Bonyhady, Yale University
Daniel E. Derosha, Yale University
Javier Vela, University of Rochester
David J. Vinyard, Yale University
Ryan E. Cowley, University of Rochester
Brandon Q. Mercado, Yale University
William W. Brennessel, University of Rochester
Patrick L. Holland, Yale University


© 2018 American Chemical Society. Diazoalkanes are interesting redox-active ligands and also precursors to carbene fragments. We describe a systematic study of the binding and electronic structure of diphenyldiazomethane complexes of β-diketiminate supported iron and cobalt, which span a range of formal d-electron counts of 7-9. In end-on diazoalkane complexes of formally monovalent three-coordinate transition metals, the electronic structures are best described as having the metal in the +2 oxidation state with an antiferromagnetically coupled radical anion diazoalkane as shown by crystallography, spectroscopy, and computations. A formally zerovalent cobalt complex has different structures depending on whether potassium binds; potassium binding gives transfer of two electrons into the n2-diazoalkane, but the removal of the potassium with crown ether leads to a form with only one electron transferred into an n1-diazoalkane. These results demonstrate the influence of potassium binding and metal oxidation state on the charge localization in the diazoalkane complexes. Interestingly, none of these reduced complexes yield carbene fragments, but the new cobalt(II) complex LtBuCoPF6 (LtBu = bulky β-diketiminate) does catalyze the formation of an azine from its cognate diazoalkane, suggesting N2 loss and transient carbene formation.