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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Chemistry

First Advisor

Eugenijus Urnezius


Rudy L Luck


Presented here, is the work done with a series of binucleating ligands based on phosphine and phosphine oxide appended p-hydroquinones and their reactions towards various metals sources. The long term goal of the project was to produce coordination polymers that would have novel electronic, magnetic, and optical properties which would be of use in the field of molecular electronics.

Binucleating ligands contained a p-hydroquinone motif in which various phosphine- and phosphine oxide substituents have been placed in the ortho position relative to each of the hydroxy position were synthesized. A previously published synthetic method for such lugands utilized n-BuLi to form a phenyl lithium intermediate which was quenched with chlorodiphenylphosphine. This technique was also used to produce a ligand with diisopropylphosphine groups. Phosphine ligands, containing the same structural motif, were also generated using LDA as the lithiating agent. This technique was found to be higher yielding. Phosphine chalcogenide ligands were accessed by further oxidizing the low valent phosphorous centers with either hydrogen peroxide or with elemental sulfur. These ligands were characterized using multinuclear NMR, low and high resolution mass spectroscopy, FTIR, and single crystal X-ray diffraction. Their electrochemical properties were explored with cyclic voltammetry.

The phosphine appended ligands were used in the synthesis of a several bimetallic complexes. It was found that the ligands readily reacted with NiCp2 and NiCp*2, displacing one of the cyclopentadiene (Cp) or pentamethylcyclopentadiene (Cp*) rings. A cyclopentadiene complexes, containing diisopropylphine, was readily oxidized by[FeCp2]PF6 to give a NMR silent mixed valence complex. Cyclic voltammetry of these complexes showed a number of reversible waves with a large potential separation. The mixed valence compounds also showed a large absorbance band in the NIR region which was assigned to be an intervalence charge transfer. The cyclic voltammetry and NIR spectroscopy suggest that these systems are very capable of efficient metal-to-metal charge transfer. These complexes were characterized by multinuclear NMR, single crystal X-ray diffraction, UV/VIS-NIR spectroscopy and elemental analysis.

The phosphine oxide ligands were reacted with a variety of different metal sources but limited success was gained in obtaining single crystals, allowing structural characterization of these compounds. Single crystals were obtained from products generated by reacting the diphenylphosphine oxide ligand with (Bipy)Cu(NO3)2 and Cu(NO3)2. In all cases the ligand had been further oxidized to a 2,5-dihydroxy-1,4-benzoquinone motif. In the reaction between the diphenylphosphine oxide ligand and (Bipy)Cu(NO3)2 it was found that the phosphine oxide moiety was involved with intermolecular coordination leading to the formation of a one-dimensional polymer composed of a series of bimetallic complexes tethered together. When NaSbF6 was present in the reaction with (Bipy)Cu(NO3)2 a unique tetrametallic complex was formed. Here the phospine oxide moiety was oriented so that two bimetallic complexes were bound together. If only Cu(NO3)2 was present, a two-dimensional polymeric sheet was formed where the ligand was present in two different coordination modes. The electronic properties of these complexes remained to be assessed.