Spectroscopic and Computational Studies of Spin States of Iron(IV) Nitrido and Imido Complexes

High-oxidation-state metal complexes with multiply bonded ligands are of great interest for both their reactivity as well as their fundamental bonding properties. This paper reports a combined spectroscopic and theoretical investigation into the effect of the apical multiply bonded ligand on the spin-state preferences of threefold symmetric iron(IV) complexes with tris(carbene) donor ligands. Specifically, singlet (S = 0) nitrido [{PhB(Im$^R$)$_3$}FeN], R = $^t$Bu (1), Mes (mesityl, 2) and the related triplet (S = 1) imido complexes, [{PhB(Im$^R$)$_3$}Fe(NR′)]$^+$, R = Mes, R′ = 1-adamantyl (3), $^t$Bu (4), were investigated by electronic absorption and Mössbauer effect spectroscopies. For comparison, two other Fe(IV) nitrido complexes, [(TIMEN$^{Ar}$)FeN]$^+$ (TIMEN$^{Ar}$ = tris[2-(3-aryl-imidazol-2-ylidene)ethyl]amine; Ar = Xyl (xylyl), Mes), were investigated by $^57$Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy, including applied-field measurements. The paramagnetic imido complexes 3 and 4 were also studied by magnetic susceptibility measurements (for 3) and paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy: high-frequency and -field electron paramagnetic resonance (for 3 and 4) and frequency-domain Fourier-transform (FD-FT) terahertz electron paramagnetic resonance (for 3), which reveal their zero-field splitting parameters. Experimentally correlated theoretical studies comprising ligand-field theory and quantum chemical theory, the latter including both density functional theory and ab initio methods, reveal the key role played by the Fe 3d$_z ^2$ (a$_1$) orbital in these systems: the nature of its interaction with the nitrido or imido ligand dictates the spin-state preference of the complex. The ability to tune the spin state through the energy and nature of a single orbital has general relevance to the factors controlling spin states in complexes with applicability as single molecule devices.

Publication Date:
Apr 05 2017
Date Submitted:
Nov 30 2018
Inorganic Chemistry

 Record created 2018-11-30, last modified 2019-04-03

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