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Dalton Trans. 2012 Aug 28;41(32):9659-66. doi: 10.1039/c2dt30861d. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Scandium and yttrium metallocene borohydride complexes: comparisons of (BH4)1- vs. (BPh4)1- coordination and reactivity.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-2025, USA.


The synthetically accessible borohydride complexes (C(5)Me(4)H)(2)Ln(THF)(BH(4)) and (C(5)Me(5))(2)Ln(THF)(BH(4)) (Ln = Sc, Y) were examined as precursors alternative to the heavily-used tetraphenylborate analogs, [(C(5)Me(4)H)(2)Ln][BPh(4)] and [(C(5)Me(5))(2)Ln][BPh(4)], employed in LnA(2)A'/M reduction reactions (A = anion; M = alkali metal) that generate "LnA(2)" reactivity and form reduced dinitrogen complexes [(C(5)R(5))(2)(THF)(x)Ln](2)(μ-η(2):η(2)-N(2)) (x = 0, 1). The crystal structures of the yttrium borohydrides, (C(5)Me(4)H)(2)Y(THF)(μ-H)(3)BH, 1, and (C(5)Me(5))(2)Y(THF)(μ-H)(2)BH(2), 2, were determined for comparison with those of the yttrium tetraphenylborates, [(C(5)Me(4)H)(2)Y][(μ-Ph)(2)BPh(2)], 3, and [(C(5)Me(5))(2)Y][(μ-Ph)(2)BPh(2)], 4. The complex (C(5)Me(4)H)(2)Sc(μ-H)(2)BH(2), 5, was synthesized and structurally characterized for comparison with (C(5)Me(5))(2)Sc(μ-H)(2)BH(2), 6, [(C(5)Me(4)H)(2)Sc][(μ-Ph)BPh(3)], 7, and [(C(5)Me(5))(2)Sc][(μ-Ph)BPh(3)], 8. Structural information was also obtained on the borohydride derivatives, (C(5)Me(4)H)(2)Sc(μ-H)(2)BC(8)H(14), 9, and (C(5)Me(5))(2)Sc(μ-H)(2)BC(8)H(14), 10, obtained from 9-borabicyclo(3.3.1)nonane (9-BBN) and (C(5)Me(4)R)(2)Sc(η(3)-C(3)H(5)), where R = H, 11; Me, 12. The preference of the metals for borohydride over tetraphenylborate binding was shown by the facile displacement of (BPh(4))(1-) in 3, 4, 7, and 8 by (BH(4))(1-) to make the respective borohydride complexes 1, 2, 5, and 6. These results are consistent with the fact that the borohydrides are not as useful as precursors in A(2)LnA'/M reductions of N(2). An unusual structural isomer of [(C(5)Me(4)H)(2)Sc](2)(μ-η(2):η(2)-N(2)), 13', was isolated from this study that shows the variations in ligand orientation that can occur in the solid state.

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