Stepwise synthesis of mixed-metal assemblies using pre-formed Ru( ii ) ‘complex ligands’ as building blocks

Article English OPEN
Metherell, A. J. ; Ward, M. D. (2016)
  • Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry

Two families of heteronuclear coordination complexes have been prepared in a stepwise manner using pre-formed, kinetically inert [RuL3]2+ building blocks, in which L is a bis-bidentate bridging ligand with two pyrazole–pyridyl termini, coordinated at one end to the Ru(II) centre. These pre-formed ‘complex ligands’ – with three pendant binding sites – react with additional labile transition metal dications to complete the stepwise assembly of mixed-metal arrays in which labile [Co(II)/Cd(II)] or inert [Ru(II)] ions strictly alternate around the framework. When L = the thiophene-2,5-diyl spaced ligand Lth, the complex [Ru(Lth)3]2+ is formed in the expected 3[thin space (1/6-em)]:[thin space (1/6-em)]1 mer[thin space (1/6-em)]:[thin space (1/6-em)]fac ratio: reaction with labile Co(II) or Cd(II) ions completes formation of a heteronuclear square [Ru2Co2(Lth)6]8+ or one-dimensional coordination polymer {[CdRu(Lth)3]4+}∞, respectively. In these only the mer isomer of [Ru(Lth)3]2+ is selected by the self-assembly process, whereas the fac isomer is not used. When L = a 1,3-benzene-diyl spaced ligand (Lph), the complex ligand [Ru(Lph)3]2+ formed in the initial step is enriched in mer isomer (80–87% mer, depending on reaction conditions). Two quite different products were isolated from reaction of [Ru(Lph)3]2+ with Co(II) depending on the conditions. These are the rectangular, hexanuclear ‘open-book’ array [Ru3Co3(Lph)9]12+ which contains a 2[thin space (1/6-em)]:[thin space (1/6-em)]1 proportion of fac/mer Ru(II) metal centres; and the octanuclear cubic [Ru4Co4(Lph)12{Na(BF4)4}]13+ cage which is a new structural type containing all mer Ru(II) vertices and all fac Co(II) vertices. The cavity of this cubic cage contains a tetrahedral array of fluoroborate anions which in turn coordinate to a central Na(I) ion – an unusual example of a metal complex [Na(BF4)4]3− acting as the guest inside the cage-like metal complex [Ru4Co4(Lph)12]16+.
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