A Stable Aminyl Radical Metal Complex

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Science  14 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5707, pp. 235-238
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106070

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Metal-stabilized phenoxyl radicals appear to be important intermediates in a variety of enzymatic oxidations. We report that transition metal coordination also supports an aminyl radical, resulting in a stable crystalline complex: [Rh(I)(trop2N.)(bipy)]+OTf (where trop is 5-H-dibenzo[a,d]cycloheptene-5-yl, bipy is 2,2′-bipyridyl, OTf is trifluorosulfonate). It is accessible under mild conditions by one-electron oxidation of the amide complex [Rh(I)(trop2N)(bipy)], at a potential of –0.55 volt versus ferrocene/ferrocenium. Both electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and density functional theory support 57% localization of the unpaired spin at N. In reactions with H-atom donors, the Rh-coordinated aminyl behaves as a nucleophilic radical.

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