Investigation of group 12 metal complexes with a tridentate SNS ligand by x-ray crystallography and 1H NMR spectroscopy

Wei Lai, Steven M. Berry, Deborah C. Bebout, Raymond J. Butcher

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21 Scopus citations


Two series of zinc triad complexes containing the ligand 2,6-bis(methylthiomethyl)pyridine (L1) were synthesized and characterized by X-ray crystallography and solution-state 1H NMR spectroscopy. The distorted meridional octahedral M(L1) 2(ClO4)2 series includes the first structurally characterized Zn(II) and Cd(II) complexes with N2(SR 2)4 coordination spheres. Coordination of HgCl2 and ZnCl2 with 1 equiv of ligand afforded mononuclear, five-coordinate species Hg(L1)Cl2 and Zn(L 1)Cl2, respectively, with distorted square-pyramidal and trigonal-bipyramidal geometries. With CdCl2, the dimeric [Cd(L 1)Cl(μ-Cl)]2 complex was obtained. The distorted octahedral coordination geometry of each Cd(II) center in this complex is formed by one tridentate ligand, two bridging chloride ions, and one terminal chloride ion. NMR spectra indicate that the intermolecular ligand-exchange rate of [M(L1)2]2+ decreased in the order Cd(II) > Zn(II) > Hg(II). Slow intermolecular ligand-exchange conditions on the chemical-shift time scale were found for 1:2 metal-to-ligand complexes of L 1 with Hg(II) and Zn(II) but not Cd(II). Slow intermolecular ligand-exchange conditions in acetonitrile-d3 solutions permitting detection of 3-5J(199Hg1H) were found for 1:1 and 1:2 Hg(ClO4)2/L1 complexes, but not for the related Cd(ClO4)2 complexes. The magnitudes of J( 199Hg1H) for equivalent protons were smaller in [Hg(L 1)2]2+ than in [Hg(L1)(NCCH 3)x]2+. The relative intermolecular ligand-exchange rates of the zinc triad complexes investigated here suggest that the toxicity of Hg(II) is accentuated by the relative difficulty of displacing it from the coordination sites encountered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-581
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 23 2006


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