Structure of tetracarbonylethyleneosmium: Ethylene structure changes upon complex formation

Chandana Karunatilaka, Brandon S. Tackett, John Washington, Stephen G. Kukolich

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13 Scopus citations


Rotational spectra of seven isotopomers of tetracarbonylethyleneosmium, Os(CO)42-C2H4), were measured in the 4-12 GHz range using a Flygare-Balle-type pulsed-beam Fourier transform microwave spectrometer system. Olefin-transition metal complexes of this type occur extensively in recent organic syntheses and serve as important models for transition states in the metal-mediated transformations of alkenes. Three osmium (192Os, 190Os, and 188Os) and three unique 13C isotopomers (13C in ethylene, axial, and equatorial positions) were observed in natural abundance. Additional spectra were measured for a perdeuterated sample, Os(CO)42-C 2D4). The measured rotational constants for the main osmium isotopomer (192Os) are A = 929.3256(6), B = 755.1707(3), and C = 752.7446(3) MHz, indicating a near-prolate asymmetric top molecule. The ∼140 assigned b-type transitions were fit using a Watson S-reduced Hamiltonian including A, B, C, and five centrifugal distortion constants. A near-complete r0 gas-phase structure has been determined from a least-squares structural fit using eight adjustable structural parameters to fit the 21 measured rotational constants. Changes in the structure of ethylene on coordination to Os(CO)4 are large and well-determined. For the complex, the experimental ethylene C-C bond length is 1.432(5) Å, which falls between the free ethylene value of 1.3391 (13) Å and the ethane value of 1.534(2) Å. The angle between the plane of the CH2 group and the extended ethylene C-C bond (Zout-of-plane) is 26.0(3)°, indicating that this complex is better described as a metallacyclopropane than as a π-bonded olefin-metal complex. The Os-C-C-H dihedral angle is 106.7(2)°, indicating that the ethylene carbon atoms have near sp 3 character in the complex. Kraitchman analysis of the available rotational constants gave principal axis coordinates for the carbon and hydrogen atoms in excellent agreement with the least-squares fit results. The new results on this osmium complex are compared with earlier work on the similar complex, tetracarbonylethyleneiron (Fe(CO)42-C 2H4)). The ethylene structural changes upon coordination to the metal are found to be larger for the ethylene-osmium complex than for the analogous ethylene-iron complex, consistent with the expected greater π donation for the osmium atom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10522-10530
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 29 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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