A four-coordinate cobalt–imido complex, (tBumPNP)Co=NMes (tBumPNP=modified PNP pincer ligand) has been synthesized from addition of 2,4,6-trimethylphenylazide (Mes–N3) to the corresponding dinitrogen complex. The solid-state structure determined by X-ray diffraction established a rare, idealized planar geometry with a Co=N bond distance of 1.716(2) Å. Magnetic measurements revealed an S=1 ground state with CAS-SCF calculations supporting radical character on the imide nitrogen. Thermolysis of the cobalt–imido compound induced selective insertion of the imido group into a Co−P bond and yielded a three-coordinate cobalt complex with a distorted T-shaped geometry. Transition state analysis conducted with DFT calculations established the thermodynamic stability of the P–N coupled product and provided insight into the exclusive selectivity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- electronic structure
- nitrene transfer