Catalytic Nitrene Homocoupling by an Iron(II) Bis(alkoxide) Complex: Bulking Up the Alkoxide Enables a Wider Range of Substrates and Provides Insight into the Reaction Mechanism.

Author(s) Yousif, M.; Wannipurage, D.; Huizenga, C.D.; Washnock-Schmid, E.; Peraino, N.J.; Ozarowski, A.; Stoian, S.A.; Lord, R.L.; Groysman, S.
Journal Inorg Chem
Date Published 2018 Aug 06
Abstract

The reaction of HOR' (OR' = di-t-butyl-(3,5-diphenylphenyl)methoxide) with an iron(II) amide precursor forms the iron(II) bis(alkoxide) complex Fe(OR')(THF) (2). 2 (5-10 mol %) serves as a catalyst for the conversion of aryl azides into the corresponding azoarenes. The highest yields are observed for aryl azides featuring two ortho substituents; other substitution patterns in the aryl azide precursor lead to moderate or low yields. The reaction of 2 with stoichiometric amounts (2 equiv) of the corresponding aryl azide shows the formation of azoarenes as the only organic products for the bulkier aryl azides (Ar = mesityl, 2,6-diethylphenyl). In contrast, formation of tetrazene complexes Fe(OR')(ArNNNNAr) (3-6) is observed for the less bulky aryl azides (Ar = phenyl, 4-methylphenyl, 4-methoxyphenyl, 3,5-dimethylphenyl). The electronic structure of selected tetrazene complexes was probed by spectroscopy (field-dependent Fe Mössbauer and high-frequency EPR) and density functional theory calculations. These studies revealed that Fe(OR')(ArNNNNAr) complexes contain high-spin ( S = 5/2) iron(III) centers exchange-coupled to tetrazene radical anions. Tetrazene complexes Fe(OR')(ArNNNNAr) produce the corresponding azoarenes (ArNNAr) upon heating. Treatment of a tetrazene complex Fe(OR')(ArNNNNAr) with a different azide (NAr') produces all three possible products ArNNAr, ArNNAr', and Ar'NNAr'. These experiments and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations exploring the reaction mechanism suggest that the tetrazene functionality serves as a masked form of the reactive iron mono(imido) species.

DOI 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b01418
ISSN 1520-510X
Citation Yousif M, Wannipurage D, Huizenga CD, Washnock-Schmid E, Peraino NJ, Ozarowski A, et al. Catalytic Nitrene Homocoupling by an Iron(II) Bis(alkoxide) Complex: Bulking Up the Alkoxide Enables a Wider Range of Substrates and Provides Insight into the Reaction Mechanism. Inorg Chem. 2018;57(15):9425-9438.

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