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J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Feb 28;129(8):2316-26. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

Sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy as a probe of ligand-metal bond covalency: metal vs ligand oxidation in copper and nickel dithiolene complexes.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94309, USA.


A combination of Cu L-edge and S K-edge X-ray absorption data and density functional theory (DFT) calculations has been correlated with 33S electron paramagnetic resonance superhyperfine results to obtain the dipole integral (Is) for the S 1s-->3p transition for the dithiolene ligand maleonitriledithiolate (MNT) in (TBA)2[Cu(MNT)2] (TBA= tetra-n-butylammonium). The results have been combined with the Is of sulfide derived from XPS studies to experimentally obtain a relation between the S 1s-->4p transition energy (which reflects the charge on the S atom, QSmol) and the dipole integral over a large range of QSmol. The results show that, for high charges on S, Is can vary from the previously reported Is values, calculated using data over a limited range of QSmol. A combination of S K-edge and Cu K- and L-edge X-ray absorption data and DFT calculations has been used to investigate the one-electron oxidation of [Cu(MNT)2]2- and [Ni(MNT)2]2-. The conversion of [Cu(MNT)2]2- to [Cu(MNT)2]- results in a large change in the charge on the Cu atom in the molecule (QCumol) and is consistent with a metal-based oxidation. This is accompanied by extensive charge donation from the ligands to compensate the high charge on the Cu in [Cu(MNT)2]- based on the increased S K-edge and decreased Cu L-edge intensity, respectively. In contrast, the oxidation of [Ni(MNT)2]2- to [Ni(MNT)2]- results in a small change in QNimol, indicating a ligand-based oxidation consistent with oxidation of a molecular orbital, psiSOMO (singly occupied molecular orbital), with predominant ligand character.

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