NMR and EPR studies of the bis(pyridine) and bis(tert-butyl isocyanide) complexes of iron(III) octaethylchlorin

Sheng Cai, Dennis L. Lichtenberger, F. Ann Walker

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16 Scopus citations


The NMR and EPR spectra of a series of pyridine complexes [(OEC)Fe(L) 2]+ (L = 4-Me2NPy, Py, and 4-CNPy) have been investigated. The EPR spectra at 4.2 K suggest that, with a decrease of the donor strength of the axial ligands, the complexes change their ground state from (dxy)2(dxzdyz)3 to (dxzdyz)4(dxy)1. The NMR data from 303 to 183 K show that at any temperature within this range the chemical shifts of pyrrole-8,17-CH2 protons increase with a decrease in the donor strength of the axial ligands. The full peak assignments of the [(OEC)Fe(L)2]+ complexes of this study have been made from COSY and NOE difference experiments. The pyrrole-8,17-CH2 and pyrroline protons show large chemical shifts (hence indicating large π spin density on the adjacent carbons which are part of the π system), while pyrrole-12,13-CH2 and -7,18-CH2 protons show much smaller chemical shifts, as predicted by the spin densities obtained from molecular orbital calculations, both Hückel and DFT; the DFT calculations additionally show close energy spacing of the highest five filled orbitals (of the Fe(II) complex) and strong mixing of metal and chlorin character in these orbitals that is sensitive to the donor strength of the axial substituents. The pattern of chemical shifts of the pyrrole-CH2 protons of [(OEC)Fe(t-BuNC)2]+ looks somewhat like that of [(OEC)-Fe(4-Me2NPy)2]+, while the chemical shifts of the meso-protons are qualitatively similar to those of [(OEP)-Fe(t-BuNC)2]+. The temperature dependence of the chemical shifts of [(OEC)Fe(t-BuNC)2]+ shows that it has a mixed (dxzdyz)4(dxy)1 and (dxy)2(dxz,dyz)3 electron configuration that cannot be resolved by temperature-dependent fitting of the proton chemical shifts, with a S = 5/2 excited state that lies somewhat more than 2kT at room temperature above the ground state; the observed pattern of chemical shifts is the approximate average of those expected for the two S = 1/2 electronic configurations, which involve the a-symmetry SOMO of a planar chlorin ring with the unpaired electron predominantly in the dyz orbital and the b-symmetry SOMO of a ruffled chlorin ring with the unpaired electron predominantly in the dxy orbital. A rapid interconversion between the two, with calculated vibrational frequency of 22 cm-1, explains the observed pattern of chemical shifts, while a favoring of the ruffled conformation explains the negative chemical shift (and thus the negative spin density at the α-pyrroline ring carbons), of the pyrroline-H of [TPCFe(t-BuNC)2]CF3SO3 (Simonneaux, G.; Kobeissi, M. J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans. 2001, 1587-1592). Peak assignments for high-spin (OEC)FeCl have been made by saturation transfer techniques that depend on chemical exchange between this complex and its bis-4-Me2NPy adduct. The contact shifts of the pyrrole-CH2 and meso protons of the high-spin complex depend on both σ and π spin delocalization due to contributions from three of the occupied frontier orbitals of the chlorin ring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1890-1903
Number of pages14
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 21 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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