Chemistry, electrochemistry and electron transfer induced reactions of cobalt complexes with fluorinated ligands.
The chemical or electrochemical reduction of the trifluoroacetyl complex CF3COCo(CO)3PPh3 involves a single electron transfer yielding trifluoromethyl radical and an anionic cobalt carbonyl complex. The mechanism is proposed to involve electron transfer followed by initial dissociation of either a carbonyl or phosphine ligand from the 19-electron [CF3COCo(CO)3PPh3 ]- anion. The resulting 17-electron intermediate undergoes subsequent one-electron reductive elimination of trifluoromethyl radical by homolytic cleavage of the carbon-carbon bond of the trifluoroacetyl group. The CF3· radical can be trapped by either benzophenone anion, forming the anion of [a]-(trifluoromethyl)benzhydrol, or Bu3SnH, yielding CF3H. The final organometallic product is an 18-electron anion, either [Co(CO)4]- or [Co(CO)3(PPh3)]-, depending upon which ligand is initially lost. The chemical or electrochemical reduction CF3Co(CO)3PPh3 is a two-electron process involving heterolytic cobalt-carbon bond cleavage to yield trifluoromethyl anion and cobalt carbonyl anions. The trifluoromethyl anion rapidly decomposes to fluoride and difluorocarbene. This carbene may dimerize to form C2F4. The unstable fluoro carbene can also be trapped by cyclohexene. The mechanism proposed for the reduction of C6F5Co(CO)3PPh3 involves a homolytic cobalt-carbon bond cleavage to form C6F5[bullet] radical. The resultant C6F5[bullet] radical abstracts hydrogen or deuterium from the solvent or trace amounts of water to produce C6F5H or C6F5D. With an excess of reducing agent this C6F5[bullet] radical can be further reduced to C6F5- anion before forming pentafluorobenzene by protonation. The inorganic fragment, the 18-electron [Co(CO)3PPh3]- anion, may participate in a ligand exchange reaction to form [Co(CO)4]-. In addition, interesting reactivity was observed between C6F5Co(CO)3PPh3 and tin hydrides, deuterides and chlorides without any reducing agents. We have demonstrated that ligand replacement reactions can be used for the synthesis of new cobalt-NHC complexes with fluorinated alkyl, acyl and aryl ligands. In addition, the X-ray crystal structure of CF3COCo(CO)3PPh3 was obtained to compare the bond lengths and bond angles with other related compounds. An unusual Co-C(acyl) bond length was observed for CF3COCo(CO)3PPh3. Considering the bond lengths of other alkyl and acyl complexes, it can generally be argued that the position of the alkyl/acyl equilibrium varies with the Co-C(alkyl/acyl) bond length.