Synthesis and Characterization of Ag(I), Au(I), and Au(III) Complexes bearing Amino-functionalized N-Heterocyclic Carbenes, Organometallics
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1-[2-(Dialkylamino)ethyl]-3-methylimidazolium salts (alkyl = Me (1a), i-Pr (1b)) have been prepared and used as precursors for the synthesis of the corresponding [(NHC)2Ag][AgCl2] complexes (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbene, Me (2a), i-Pr (2b)). Upon treatment of 2a with HBF4, crystals of the unprecedented, NHC-stabilized silver cluster [(NHC)4Ag10Cl10] (5) were obtained and characterized by X-ray diffraction. The crystal structure reveals that the carbene carbon atom exists in the rare ?2-coordination pattern, bridging two Ag(I) atoms with further stabilization of the cluster by numerous argentophilic interactions and a coordination of the amino nitrogen donor to one of the silver atoms. Transmetalation of 2a,b with (R2S)AuCl leads to the respective Au(I) complexes 3a,b, which are further oxidized with Br2 to (NHC)AuBr2Cl (4a,b). In red crystals of 4a the gold atom is coordinated in the unusual square-pyramidal geometry with the amine nitrogen atom in the axial position. Upon dissolution in wet organic solvents the amino group is protonated and the color changes to yellow. In square-planar Au(III) halide complexes electronic absorption spectra are dominated by LMCT absorption bands, but in the case of a square-pyramidal coordination sphere the dz2 orbital is destabilized, becoming the HOMO and causing a low-energy d?d absorption. This interpretation is supported by DFT calculations.