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ACS Publications

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Inorganic Chemistry

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A series of mononuclear Co(II) complexes with noninnocent (redox-active) ligands are prepared that exhibit metal–ligand cooperativity during the reversible binding of O2. The complexes have the general formula, [CoII(LS,N)(TpR2)] (R = Me, Ph), where LS,N is a bidentate o-aminothiophenolate and TpR2 is a hydrotris(pyrazol-1-yl)borate scorpionate with R-substituents at the 3- and 5-positions. Exposure to O2 at room temperature results in one-electron oxidation and deprotonation of LS,N. The oxidized derivatives possess substantial “singlet diradical” character arising from antiferromagnetic coupling between an iminothiosemiquinonate (ITSQ•–) ligand radical and a low-spin Co(II) ion. The [CoII(TpMe2)(X2ITSQ)] complexes, where X = H or tBu, coordinate O2 reversibly at reduced temperatures to provide Co/O2 adducts. The O2 binding reactions closely resemble those previously reported by our group (Kumar et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019,141, 10984–10987) for the related complexes [CoII(TpMe2)(tBu2SQ)] and [CoII(TpMe2)(tBu2ISQ)], where tBu2(I)SQ represents 4,6-di-tert-butyl-(2-imino)semiquinonate radicals. In each case, the oxygenation reaction proceeds via the addition of O2 to both the cobalt ion and the ligand radical, generating metallocyclic cobalt(III)-alkylperoxo structures. Thermodynamic measurements elucidate the relationship between O2 affinity and redox potentials of the (imino)(thio)semiquinonate radicals, as well as energetic differences between these reactions and conventional metal-based oxygenations. The results highlight the utility and versatility of noninnocent ligands in the design of O2-absorbing compounds.


Accepted version. Inorganic Chemistry, Vol. 61, No. 42 (October 2022): 16664-16677. DOI. © American Chemical Society. Used with permission.

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