Synthesis and molecular and electronic structures of reduced bis(imino)pyridine cobalt dinitrogen complexes: Ligand versus metal reduction

Amanda C. Bowman, Carsten Milsmann, Crisita Carmen Hojilla Atienza, Emil Lobkovsky, Karl Wieghardt, Paul J. Chirik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Sodium amalgam reduction of the aryl-substituted bis(imino)pyridine cobalt dihalide complexes (ArPDI)CoCl2 and (iPrBPDI) CoCl2 (ArPDI ) 2,6-(2,6-R2-C6H 3N=CMe)2C5H3N (R ) iPr, Et, Me); iPrBPDI ) 2,6-(2,6-iPr2-C 6H3N=CPh)2C5H3N) in the presence of an N2 atmosphere furnished the corresponding neutral cobalt dinitrogen complexes (ArPDI)CoN2 and ( iPrBPDI)CoN2. Magnetic measurements on these compounds establish doublet ground states. Two examples, (iPrPDI)CoN 2 and (iPrBPDI)CoN2, were characterized by X-ray diffraction and exhibit metrical parameters consistent with one-electron chelate reduction and a Co(I) oxidation state. Accordingly, the toluene solution EPR spectrum of (iPrPDI)CoN2 at 23 °C exhibits an isotropic signal with a g value of 2.003 and hyperfine coupling constant of 8 x 10-4 cm-1 to the I = 7/2 59Co center, suggesting a principally bis(imino)pyridine-based SOMO. Additional one-electron reduction of (iPrPDI)CoN2 was accomplished by treatment with Na[C10H8] in THF and yielded the cobalt dinitrogen anion [(iPrPDI)CoN2]-. DFT calculations on the series of cationic, neutral, and anionic bis(imino)pyridine cobalt dinitrogen compounds establish Co(I) centers in each case and a chelate-centered reduction in each of the sequential one-electron reduction steps. Frequency calculations successfully reproduce the experimentally determined N≡N infrared stretching frequencies and validate the computational methods. The electronic structures of the reduced cobalt dinitrogen complexes are evaluated in the broader context of bis(imino)pyridine base metal chemistry and the influence of the metal d electron configuration on the preference for closed-shell versus triplet diradical dianions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1676-1684
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 10 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthesis and molecular and electronic structures of reduced bis(imino)pyridine cobalt dinitrogen complexes: Ligand versus metal reduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this