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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

Rudy L Luck


Mo(VI) oxo complexes have been persistently sought after as epoxidation catalysts. Further, Mo(V) oxo clusters of the form M43-X)4 (M = transition metal, X = O, S) have been rigorously studied due to their remarkable structures and also their usefulness as models for electronic studies. The syntheses and characterizations of new Mo(VI) and Mo(V) oxo complexes have been described in this dissertation.

Two new complexes MoO2Cl2Ph2P(O)CH2COOH and MoO2Cl2Ph2P(O)C6H4tBuS(O) were synthesized from reactions of “MoO2Cl2” with ligands Ph2P(O)CH2COOH and Ph2P(O)C6H4tBuS(O). Tetrameric packing arrangements comprised of hydrogen bonds were obtained for the complex MoO2Cl2Ph2P(O)CH2COOH and the ligand Ph2P(O)CH2COOH. Further the stability of an Mo-O bond was preferred over the Mo-S bond even though this resulted in the formation of a more strained seven membered ring.

Tetranuclear Mo(V) complexes of the form [Mo43-O)4(µ-O2PR2)4O4], (PR2 = PPh2, PMe2) were synthesized using reactions of MoO2(acac)2 with diphenyl and dimethyl phosphinic acids, in ethanol. In the crystal structure of these complexes four Mo=O units are interconnected by four triply bridging oxygen atoms and bridging phosphinate ligands. The complex exhibited fourfold symmetry as evidenced by a single 31P NMR peak for the P atoms in the coordinated ligands. Reaction of WO2(acac)2 with Ph2POOH in methanol resulted in a dimeric W(VI) complex [(CH3O)2(O)W(µ-O)( µ-O2PPh2)2W(O)(CH3O)2] which contained a packing disorder in its crystal structure.

Similar reactions of MoO2(acac)2 with benzoic acid derivatives resulted in dimeric complexes of the form [Mo2O2(acac)2(µ-O)(µ-OC2H5)(µ-O2CR)] (R = C6H5, (o-OH)C6H4, (p-Cl)C6H4, (2,4-(OH)2)C6H3, (o-I)C6H4) and one tetrameric complex [Mo2O2(acac)2(µ-O)(µ-OC2H5)(µ-O2C)C6H4(p-µ-O2C)Mo2O2(acac)2(µ-O)(µ-OC2H5)] with terephthalic acid. 1H NMR proved very useful in the prediction of the formation of dimers with the substituted benzoic acids, which were also confirmed by elemental analyses.

The reductive capability of ethanol proved instrumental in the syntheses of Mo(V) tetrameric and dimeric clusters. Synthetic details, IR, 1H and 31P NMR spectroscopy and elemental analyses are reported for all new complexes. Further, single crystal X-ray structures of MoO2Cl2Ph2P(O)CH2COOH, MoO2Cl2Ph2P(O)C6H4tBuS(O), [Mo43-O)4(µ-O2PR2)4O4], (PR2 = PPh2, PMe2), [(CH3O)2(O)W(µ-O)( µ-O2PPh2)2W(O)(CH3O)2] and [Mo2O2(acac)2(µ-O)(µ-OC2H5)(µ-O2CR)] (R = C6H5, (o-OH)C6H4) are also presented.