Complexes with weakly coordinating ligands are often formed in chemical reactions and can play key roles in determining the reactivity, particularly in catalytic reactions. Using time-resolved X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy in combination with time-resolved IR (TRIR) spectroscopy and tungsten hexacarbonyl, W(CO)6, we are able to structurally characterize the formation of an organometallic alkane complex, determine the W-C distances, and monitor the reactivity with silane to form an organometallic silane complex. Experiments in perfluorosolvents doped with xenon afford initially the corresponding solvated complex, which is sufficiently reactive in the presence of Xe that we can then observe the coordination of Xe to the metal center, providing a unique insight into the metal-xenon bonding. These results offer a step toward elucidating the structure, bonding, and chemical reactivity of transient species by X-ray absorption spectroscopy, which has sensitivity to small structural changes. The XAFS results indicate that the bond lengths of metal-alkane (W-H-C) bond in W(CO)5(heptane) as 3.07 (±0.06) Å, which is longer than the calculated W-C (2.86 Å) for binding of the primary C-H, but shorter than the calculated W-C (3.12 Å) for the secondary C-H. A statistical average of the calculated W-C alkane bond lengths is 3.02 Å, and comparison of this value indicates that the value derived from the XAFS measurements is averaged over coordination of all C-H bonds consistent with alkane chain walking. Photolysis of W(CO)6 in the presence of HSiBu3 allows the conversion of W(CO)5(heptane) to W(CO)5(HSiBu3) with an estimated W-Si distance of 3.20 (±0.03) Å. Time-resolved TRIR and XAFS experiments following photolysis of W(CO)6 in perfluoromethylcyclohexane (PFMCH) allows the characterization of W(CO)5(PFMCH) with a W-F distance of 2.65 (±0.06) Å, and doping PFMCH with Xe allows the characterization of W(CO)5Xe with a W-Xe bond length of 3.10 (±0.02) Å.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (all)
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry