The rich chemistry of substituted bis(cyclopentadienyl)zirconium and hafnium complexes bearing side-on coordinated dinitrogen ligands is highlighted in this Perspective. Our studies in this area were initially motivated by the desire to understand side-on vs. end-on dinitrogen coordination in bimetallic zirconocene and hafnocene N2 compounds. In the cases where η2,η2-dinitrogen compounds were isolated, both structural and computational data have established significant imido character in the metal-nitrogen bonds. This additional bonding interaction, which is diminished in end-on complexes bearing both terminal and bridging N2 ligands, facilitates dinitrogen functionalization by non-polar reagents including dihydrogen, carbon-hydrogen bonds and weak Brønsted acids such as water and ethanol. In hafnocene chemistry, where unwanted side-on, end-on isomerization is suppressed, cycloaddition of phenylisocyanate to coordinated N2 has also been accomplished. For N-H bond forming reactions involving H2, kinetic measurements, in addition to isotopic labelling and computational studies, are consistent with dinitrogen functionalization by 1,2-addition involving a highly ordered, four-centred transition structure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Inorganic Chemistry