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Inorg Chem. 2011 Nov 7;50(21):11021-31. doi: 10.1021/ic201566n. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Metal-sulfur valence orbital interaction energies in metal-dithiolene complexes: determination of charge and overlap interaction energies by comparison of core and valence ionization energy shifts.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


The electronic interactions between metals and dithiolenes are important in the biological processes of many metalloenzymes as well as in diverse chemical and material applications. Of special note is the ability of the dithiolene ligand to support metal centers in multiple coordination environments and oxidation states. To better understand the nature of metal-dithiolene electronic interactions, new capabilities in gas-phase core photoelectron spectroscopy for molecules with high sublimation temperatures have been developed and applied to a series of molecules of the type Cp(2)M(bdt) (Cp = η(5)-cyclopentadienyl, M = Ti, V, Mo, and bdt = benzenedithiolato). Comparison of the gas-phase core and valence ionization energy shifts provides a unique quantitative energy measure of valence orbital overlap interactions between the metal and the sulfur orbitals that is separated from the effects of charge redistribution. The results explain the large amount of sulfur character in the redox-active orbitals and the 'leveling' of oxidation state energies in metal-dithiolene systems. The experimentally determined orbital interaction energies reveal a previously unidentified overlap interaction of the predominantly sulfur HOMO of the bdt ligand with filled π orbitals of the Cp ligands, suggesting that direct dithiolene interactions with other ligands bound to the metal could be significant for other metal-dithiolene systems in chemistry and biology.

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