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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Theoretical, thermodynamic, spectroscopic, and structural studies of the consequences of one-electron oxidation on the Fe-X bonds in 17- and 18-electron Cp*Fe(dppe)X complexes (X = F, Cl, Br, I, H, CH3).

The compounds Cp*Fe(dppe)X ([Fe]X) and the corresponding cation radicals [Fe*]X*+ are available for the series X = F, Cl, Br, I, H, CH3. This has allowed for a detailed investigation of the dependence of the nature of Fe-X bonding on the identity of X and the oxidation state (charge) of the complex. Cyclic voltammetry demonstrates that the electrode potentials for the [Fe]X0/+ couples decrease in the order I > Br > Cl > H > F > CH3. An "inverse halide order" is seen, in which the most electronegative X leads to the most easily oxidized complex. This suggests that F is the best donor among the halides. The halide trend is also reflected in NMR spectroscopic data. Mössbauer spectroscopy data also suggest that the F ligand is a strong donor (relative to H and CH3) in [Fe*]X*+. DFT calculations on CpFe(dpe)X ([Fe]X) model complexes nicely reproduce the trend in the electrode potentials for the [Fe*]X0/+ couples. Analysis of the theoretical data within the halogen series indicates that the energy of the [Fe]X HOMO does not correlate with the extent of its Fe(d(pi))-X(p(pi)) antibonding character, which varies in the order I > Br > Cl > F, but rather depends on the destabilizing electrostatic effect caused by X. This effect varies in the order F > Cl > Br > I. A thermochemical cycle that incorporates the [Fe*]X0/+ and [Fe*]0/+ electrode potentials was used to investigate the effect of the oxidation state of the complex on the homolytic bond dissociation energy (BDEhom), defined for the processes Fe-X --> Fe* + X* and Fe-X*+ --> Fe*+ + X*. For all X, it was found that a one-electron oxidation leads to a weakening of the Fe-X bond. This trend was reproduced by the DFT calculations. On the other hand, IR nu(Fe-X) spectroscopy data showed an increase in the stretching frequencies for X = H and Cl upon oxidation. X-ray crystallographic data showed a shortening of the Fe-Cl bond upon oxidation. The trends in IR and Fe-Cl bond distances were reproduced in the DFT calculations. The combined data therefore suggest that oxidation leads to weaker, but shorter, Fe-X bonds. A second thermochemical cycle was applied to investigate the effect of the one-electron oxidation on the heterolytic bond dissociation energies (BDEhet), defined for the processes Fe-X --> Fe+ + X- and Fe-X*+ --> Fe2+ + X-. In this case, the oxidation led to bond strengthening in all cases. The computed BDE values have been analyzed within Ziegler's transition state methodology and decomposed into two components, one electrostatic and one covalent, describing the interaction between the unrelaxed fragments. In all the computed BDEhom and BDEhet values of the [Fe]X models the electrostatic component is important. This helps to understand their respective variations upon oxidation.[1]


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