Thermal ellipsoid plot of photocrystallography results with photoinduced structures (solid) superimposed on dark structures (faded)

Polynuclear transition metal complexes, which frequently constitute the active sites of both biological and chemical catalysts, provide access to unique chemical transformations that are derived from metal− metal cooperation. Reductive elimination via ligand-bridged binuclear intermediates from bimetallic cores is one mechanism by which metals may cooperate during catalysis. We have established families of Rh2 complexes that participate in HX-splitting photocatalysis in which metal−metal cooperation is credited with the ability to achieve multielectron photochemical reactions in preference to single electron transformations. Nanosecond-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy, steady-state photocrystallography, and computational modeling have allowed direct observation and characterization of Cl-bridged intermediates (intramolecular analogues of classical ligand-bridged intermediates in binuclear eliminations) in halogen elimination reactions. On the basis of these observations, a new class of Rh2 complexes, supported by CO ligands, has been prepared, allowing for the isolation and independent characterization of the proposed halide-bridged intermediates. Direct observation of halide-bridged structures establishes binuclear reductive elimination as a viable mechanism for photogenerating energetic bonds.

See:  David C. Powers, Bryce L. Anderson, Seung Jun Hwang, Tamara M. Powers, Lisa M. Pérez,, Michael B. Hall, Shao-Liang Zheng, Yu-Sheng Chen,§ and Daniel G. Nocera*,† “Photocrystallographic Observation of Halide-Bridged Intermediates in Halogen Photoeliminations”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 136 (43), 15346–15355 (2014).

Author Affiliations Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA, §ChemMatCARS, The University of Chicago, Argonne, Illinois, USA.