# Late First-Row Transition Metals in Weak Ligand Fields - Correlating High-Spin Electronic Structure and Reactivity

 Title: Late First-Row Transition Metals in Weak Ligand Fields - Correlating High-Spin Electronic Structure and Reactivity Author: Sazama, Graham Thomas Citation: Sazama, Graham Thomas. 2013. Late First-Row Transition Metals in Weak Ligand Fields - Correlating High-Spin Electronic Structure and Reactivity. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University. Full Text & Related Files: Sazama_gsas.harvard_0084L_11012.pdf (6.373Mb; PDF) Abstract: High spin has been shown to be necessary for optimal reactivity of transition metal complexes toward the activation and functionalization of C-H bonds. This thesis presents our examination of the weak-field, tripodal, trianionic tris(pyrrolyl)ethane (tpe) ligand and its complexes. Outer-sphere oxidation of the manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel and zinc complexes of tpe were performed by electrochemical and chemical methods. Electrochemical oxidation occurred at the same potential for each species, suggesting a ligand-based oxidation. The reaction product of chemical oxidation of iron showed oxidation of a pyrrole unit followed by H-atom abstraction to form a dichelated species. Density functional theory calculations confirm these results, and in silico oxidation of the complexes is entirely ligand-based. These results establish that tpe complexes are oxidized at the pyrrolide subunits in outersphere electron transfers, and elucidate minimal metal-ligand electronic communication. The more reactive $$[(tpe)Fe(THF)]^−$$ anion exhibits rapid binding of three equivalents of tert-butyl isonitrile, while reaction with excess carbon monoxide induces ligand fragmentation to form a species wherein two molecules of carbon monoxide have been reductively coupled. A mechanism based on the observed isonitrile species is proposed. The use of inner-sphere oxidant reagents allows for several stable iron (III) complexes of tpe to be isolated and characterized. Alkyl peroxides and alkyl disulfides, organic azides, and diphenyldiazomethane are all shown to oxidize iron by a single electron. Reaction with organic azides results in the formation of iron (III) amide species, likely as a result of Hatom abstraction. The weak-field of tpe creates a high propensity for forming high-spin iron (III) complexes, to the extent that diphenyldiazoalkane acts as a redox-active ligand and provides a one-electron reservoir to reveal a high-spin $$Fe^{3+}$$. Spectroscopic and computational studies were undertaken to rigorously assign the physical oxidation state of iron in all cases. Given the outer-sphere redox liability of the tpe ligand, and the capability for inner-sphere oxidation local to iron, tpe complexes of iron represent a new class of metal-ligand redox activity, wherein the metal and ligand form two separate redox reservoirs, accessible via different mechanisms. Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11041645 Downloads of this work: