American Chemical Society
A new scorpionate ligand [HB(mtda)3-] containing mercaptothiadiazolyl (mtda) heterocyclic rings with both hard nitrogen donors and soft sulfur donors has been prepared. This new ligand, the Janus scorpionate, is a hybrid of a tris(pyrazolyl)borate and a tris(mercaptoimidazolyl)borate. The differential hard/soft character of the dissimilar donor groups in this bridging ligand was exploited for the controlled solid-state organization of homometallic and heterometallic alkali metal coordination polymers. Remarkably, in the case of sodium, coordination polymers with both acentric (with NaS3N3H kernels) and centric (with alternating NaN6 and NaS6H2 kernels) chains are found in the same crystal (where the centricity is defined by the relative orientations of the B−H bonds of the ligands along the lattice). For the homometallic potassium congener, the larger cation size, compared to sodium, induced significant distortions and favored a polar arrangement of ligands in the resulting coordination polymer chain. An examination of the solid-state structure of the mixed alkali metal salt system revealed that synergistic binding of smaller sodium cations to the nitrogen portion and of the larger potassium cations to the sulfur portion of the ligand minimizes the ligand distortions relative to the homometallic coordination polymer counterparts, a design feature of the ligand that likely assists in thermodynamically driving the self-assembly of the heterometallic chains. The effect of alkali metal complexation on the solution properties of the ligand was studied by comparing NMR chemical shifts, B−H stretching frequencies, and electrochemical properties with those of the noncoordinating tetrabutylammonium salt of the scorpionate. The similarity of these data regardless of cation indicates that the salts are likely dissociated in solution rather than maintaining their solid-state polymeric structures. This data is augmented by the ESI(±) mass spectral data for a series of mixed alkali metal tris(mercaptothiadiazolyl)borates that also indicate that dissociation occurs in solution.