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Dalton Trans. 2012 Sep 14;41(34):10354-71. doi: 10.1039/c2dt31001e. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Solvent-dependent modulation of metal-metal electronic interactions in a dinuclear cyanoruthenate complex: a detailed electrochemical, spectroscopic and computational study.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.


The dinuclear complex [{Ru(CN)(4)}(2)(μ-bppz)](4-) shows a strongly solvent-dependent metal-metal electronic interaction which allows the mixed-valence state to be switched from class 2 to class 3 by changing solvent from water to CH(2)Cl(2). In CH(2)Cl(2) the separation between the successive Ru(II)/Ru(III) redox couples is 350 mV and the IVCT band (from the UV/Vis/NIR spectroelectrochemistry) is characteristic of a borderline class II/III or class III mixed valence state. In water, the redox separation is only 110 mV and the much broader IVCT transition is characteristic of a class II mixed-valence state. This is consistent with the observation that raising and lowering the energy of the d(π) orbitals in CH(2)Cl(2) or water, respectively, will decrease or increase the energy gap to the LUMO of the bppz bridging ligand, which provides the delocalisation pathway via electron-transfer. IR spectroelectrochemistry could only be carried out successfully in CH(2)Cl(2) and revealed class III mixed-valence behaviour on the fast IR timescale. In contrast to this, time-resolved IR spectroscopy showed that the MLCT excited state, which is formulated as Ru(III)(bppz(˙-))Ru(II) and can therefore be considered as a mixed-valence Ru(II)/Ru(III) complex with an intermediate bridging radical anion ligand, is localised on the IR timescale with spectroscopically distinct Ru(II) and Ru(III) termini. This is because the necessary electron-transfer via the bppz ligand is more difficult because of the additional electron on bppz(˙-) which raises the orbital through which electron exchange occurs in energy. DFT calculations reproduce the electronic spectra of the complex in all three Ru(II)/Ru(II), Ru(II)/Ru(III) and Ru(III)/Ru(III) calculations in both water and CH(2)Cl(2) well as long as an explicit allowance is made for the presence of water molecules hydrogen-bonded to the cyanides in the model used. They also reproduce the excited-state IR spectra of both [Ru(CN)(4)(μ-bppz)](2-) and [{Ru(CN)(4)}(2)(μ-bppz)](4-) very well in both solvents. The reorganization of the water solvent shell indicates a possible dynamical reason for the longer life time of the triplet state in water compared to CH(2)Cl(2).


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