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Inorg Chem. 1996 Jul 3;35(14):4148-4161.

Dihydrogen Evolution by Protonation Reactions of Nickel(I).

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Department of Chemistry, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


Nickel-mediated formation of H(2) by protonation of Ni(I) has been established and the kinetics of the process investigated. The diamagnetic complex [Ni(II)(psnet)](BF(4))(2) was prepared and reduced to [Ni(I)(psnet)](BF(4)) with NaBH(4) in THF (psnet = bis(5-(diphenylphosphino)-3-thiapentanyl)amine). Both complexes were structurally characterized by X-ray diffraction. [Ni(psnet)](1+) was demonstrated to be an authentic Ni(I) complex with a.(d(z)()2)(1) ground state. Under appropriate conditions, [Ni(psnet)](+) reacts with acids in nonaqueous media to give near-quantitative yields of H(2) according to the stoichiometry Ni(I) + H(+) --> Ni(II) + (1)/(2)H(2). Dihydrogen production was demonstrated to be directly related to Ni(I) oxidation. The reaction system [Ni(psnet)](+)/HCl/DMF, which gives H(2) yields of greater, similar90%, was subjected to a kinetics analysis. The overall reaction [Ni(psnet)](+) + HCl --> [Ni(psnet)Cl](+) + (1)/(2)H(2) proceeds by two parallel pathways dependent on chloride concentration. Addition of Bu(4)NCl accelerates the reaction, whereas (Bu(4)N)(PF(6)) decreases the rate. A two-term rate law is presented which includes contributions from both pathways, whose common initial step is protonation of Ni(I). Path A (low chloride concentration) involves the formation and collapse of nickel hydride chloride ion pairs; the rate-determining step is the minimal reaction 2Ni(III)-H(-) --> H(2) + 2Ni(II). Path B (high chloride concentration) includes as the rate-limiting step collapse of a nickel hydride dichloride ion pair followed by the bimolecular reaction of two Ni(III)-H(-) intermediates or reduction to Ni(II)-H(-) by Ni(I) followed by protonation of the hydride. The relation of these results to the reactions of hydrogenase enzymes is considered.


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