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Science. 2011 Feb 25;331(6020):1049-52. doi: 10.1126/science.1198315.

Synthesis, structure, and reactivity of an iron(V) nitride.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSC 3C, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA.


Despite being implicated as important intermediates, iron(V) compounds have proven very challenging to isolate and characterize. Here, we report the preparation of the iron(V) nitrido complex, [PhB((t)BuIm)(3)Fe(V)≡N]BAr(F24) (PhB((t)BuIm)(3)(-) = phenyltris(3-tert-butylimidazol-2-ylidene)borato, BAr(F24) = B(3,5-(CF(3))(2)C(6)H(3))(4)(-)), by one electron oxidation of the iron(IV) nitrido precursor. Single-crystal x-ray diffraction of the iron(V) complex reveals a four-coordinate metal ion with a terminal nitrido ligand. Mößbauer and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopic characterization, supported by electronic structure calculations, provide evidence for a d(3) iron(V) metal center in a low spin (S = 1/2) electron configuration. Low-temperature reaction of the iron(V) nitrido complex with water under reducing conditions leads to high yields of ammonia with concomitant formation of an iron(II) species.

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