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Inorg Chem. 2009 Feb 16;48(4):1678-88. doi: 10.1021/ic802248t.

Fe L- and K-edge XAS of low-spin ferric corrole: bonding and reactivity relative to low-spin ferric porphyrin.

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Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Corrole is a tetrapyrrolic macrocycle that has one carbon atom less than a porphyrin. The ring contraction reduces the symmetry from D(4h) to C(2v), changes the electronic structure of the heterocycle, and leads to a smaller central cavity with three protons rather than the two of a porphyrin. The differences between ferric corroles and porphyrins lead to a number of differences in reactivity including increased axial ligand lability and a tendency to form 5-coordinate complexes. The electronic structure origin of these differences has been difficult to study experimentally as the dominant porphyrin/corrole pi --> pi* transitions obscure the electronic transitions of the metal. Recently, we have developed a methodology that allows for the interpretation of the multiplet structure of Fe L-edges in terms of differential orbital covalency (i.e., the differences in mixing of the metal d orbitals with the ligand valence orbitals) using a valence bond configuration interaction model. Herein, we apply this methodology, combined with a ligand field analysis of the Fe K pre-edge to a low-spin ferric corrole, and compare it to a low-spin ferric porphyrin. The experimental results combined with DFT calculations show that the contracted corrole is both a stronger sigma donor and a very anisotropic pi donor. These differences decrease the bonding interactions with axial ligands and contribute to the increased axial ligand lability and reactivity of ferric corroles relative to ferric porphyrins.

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