MicroED Characterization of a Robust Cationic -Alkane Complex Stabilized by the [B(3,5-(SF5)2C6H3)4]– Anion, via On-Grid Solid/Gas Single-Crystal to Single-Crystal Reactivity

Andrew Weller, Laurence Robertson Doyle, Emily Thompson, Arron L. Burnage, Adrian C. Whitwood, Huw Thomas Jenkins, Stuart A. Macgregor

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Microcrystalline (~1 m) [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(norbornadiene)][S-BArF4], [S-BArF4] = [B(3,5-(SF5)2C6H3)4]–, reacts with H2 in a single-crystal to single-crystal transformation to form the -alkane complex [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(norbornane)][S-BArF4], for which the structure was determined by microcrystal Electron Diffraction (microED), to 0.95 Å resolution, via an on-grid hydrogenation, and a complementary single-crystal X-ray diffraction study on larger, but challenging to isolate, crystals. Comparison with the [BArF4]– analogue [ArF = 3,5-(CF3)2C5H3)] shows that the [S-BArF4]– anion makes the -alkane complex robust towards decomposition both thermally and when suspended in pentane. Subsequent reactivity with dissolved ethene in a pentane slurry, forms [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(ethene)2][S-BArF4], and the catalytic dimerisation/isomerisation of ethene to 2-butenes. The increased stability of [S-BArF4]– salts is identified as being due to increased non-covalent interactions in the lattice, resulting in a solid-state molecular organometallic material with desirable stability characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDalton Transactions
Early online date3 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Feb 2022

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