Stable Magnesium(I) Compounds with Mg-Mg Bonds

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Science  14 Dec 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5857, pp. 1754-1757
DOI: 10.1126/science.1150856

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The chemistry of the group 2 metals (beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, and barium) is dominated by the +2 oxidation state. Here, we report the reductions of two magnesium(II) iodide complexes with potassium metal in toluene, leading to thermally stable magnesium(I) compounds, (L)MgMg(L) (where L is [(Ar)NC(NPri2)N(Ar)] or {[(Ar)NC(Me)]2CH}, Ar is 2,6-diisopropylphenyl, Me is methyl, and Pri is isopropyl) in moderate yields. The results of x-ray crystallographic and theoretical studies are consistent with central Mg 2+2 units that have single, covalent magnesium-magnesium bonding interactions with 2.8508 ± 0.0012 (standard deviation) and 2.8457 ± 0.0008 angstrom bond lengths, respectively, and predominantly ionic interactions with the anionic ligands (L).

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