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A continuous-wave EPR investigation into the photochemical transformations of the chromium(I) carbonyl complex [Cr(CO)4bis(diphenylphosphino)]+ and reactivity with 1-hexene

Fioco, David ORCID:, Folli, Andrea ORCID:, Platts, James ORCID:, Chiesa, Mario and Murphy, Damien M. ORCID: 2024. A continuous-wave EPR investigation into the photochemical transformations of the chromium(I) carbonyl complex [Cr(CO)4bis(diphenylphosphino)]+ and reactivity with 1-hexene. Molecules 29 (2) , 392. 10.3390/molecules29020392

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Chromium complexes containing a bis(diphenylphosphino) ligand have attracted significant interest over many years due to their potential as active catalysts for ethylene oligomerisation when combined with suitable co-catalysts such as triethylaluminium (TEA) or methylaluminoxane (MAO). While there has been considerable attention devoted to the possible reaction intermediates and the nature of the Cr oxidation states involved, the potential UV photoactivity of the Cr(I) complexes has so far been overlooked. Therefore, to explore the photoinduced transformations of bis(diphenylphosphino) stabilized Cr(I) complexes, we used continuous-wave (CW) EPR to study the effects of UV radiation on a cationic [Cr(CO)4(dppp)]+[Al(OC(CF3)3)4]− complex (1), where dppp represents the 1,3 bis-(diphenylphosphino)propane ligand, Ph2P(C3H6)PPh2. Our preliminary investigations into the photochemistry of this complex revealed that [Cr(CO)4(dppp)]+ (1) can be readily photo-converted into an intermediate mer-[Cr(CO)3(κ1-dppp)(κ2-dppp)]+ complex (2) and eventually into a trans-[Cr(CO)2(dppp)2]+ complex (3) in solution at room temperature under UV-A light. Here, we show that the intermediate species (2) involved in this transformation can be identified by EPR at much lower temperature (140 K) and at a specific wavelength (highlighting the wavelength dependency of the reaction). In addition, small amounts of a ‘piano-stool’-type complex, namely [Cr(CO)2(dppp-η6-arene)]+ (4), can also be formed during the photoconversion of [Cr(CO)4(dppp)]+ using UV-A light. There was no evidence for the formation of the [Cr(L-bis-η6-arene)]+ complex (5) in these UV irradiation experiments. For the first time, we also evidence the formation of a 1-hexene coordinated [Cr(CO)3(dppp)(1-hexene)]+ complex (6) following UV irradiation of [Cr(CO)4(dppp)]+ in the presence of 1-hexene; this result demonstrates the unprecedented opportunity for exploiting light activation during Cr-driven olefin oligomerisation catalysis, instead of expensive, difficult-to-handle, and hazardous chemical activators.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1420-3049
Funders: European Union�s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Marie Sk�odowska-Curie scheme)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 January 2024
Date of Acceptance: 10 January 2024
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2024 16:30

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