Coordination Chemistry, Structure, and Reactivity of Thiouracil Derivatives of Tungsten(0) Hexacarbonyl: A Theoretical and Experimental Investigation into the Chelation/Dechelation of Thiouracil via CO Loss and Addition Academic Article uri icon


  • The synthesis of 2-thiouracil and 6-methyl-2-uracil derivatives of tungsten carbonyl from the reaction of photogenerated W(CO)(5)(solvent) (solvent = MeOH or THF) and the corresponding [Et(4)N][thiouracilate] is described. The crystal structure of the [Et(4)N][W(CO)(5)(2-thiouracilate)], 1, derivative is reported where the thiouracilate is found to be bound to the tungsten center via the exocyclic sulfur atom. In the solid-state structure of 1 two anions are associated by means of two hydrogen bonds between the metal bound nucleobases. These pentacarbonyl complexes stereoselectively lose cis carbonyl ligands, as is apparent from (13)C-labeling studies, to provide the endocyclic nitrogen N(1)-chelated tungsten tetracarbonyl derivatives, e.g., [Et(4)N][W(CO)(4)(2-thiouracilate)], 3. The kinetics of the loss of CO from the pentacarbonyl anions to afford the metal tetracarbonyls, and the reverse of that process, were monitored by means of in situ infrared spectroscopy in the nu(CO) region as a function of temperature. These studies reveal that the tetracarbonyl anions in CO-saturated acetonitrile ([CO] approximately 6 x 10(-)(3) M) are unstable with respect to the formation of the pentacarbonyl derivatives, i.e., the equilibrium 1 right harpoon over left harpoon 3 + CO lies to the left under an atmosphere of carbon monoxide. From the activation parameters determined for the dissociative CO loss process (DeltaH() = 82.0 +/- 3.6 kJ mol(-)(1) and DeltaS() = -44.9 +/- 9.6 J mol(-)(1) K(-)(1) for complex 1) it is apparent that the sulfur-bound thiouracilate ligand is serving as a pi-donor during CO dissociation, i.e., behaving as a cis-labilizing ligand. Ab initio geometry optimizations carried out for the process 1 right harpoon over left harpoon 3 + CO at the Hartree-Fock and DFT levels support these experimental observations. For example, complex 1 is shown to be more stable than 3 + CO and chelation via the endocyclic N(1) donor is favored over N(3) binding. Finally, the "16-electron" intermediate resulting from CO dissociation in 1 was found to possess a significantly shortened W-S interaction, presumably due to the pi-donating ability of the thiouracilate ligand.

author list (cited authors)

  • Darensbourg, D. J., Frost, B. J., Derecskei-Kovacs, A., & Reibenspies, J. H.

publication date

  • January 1, 1999 11:11 AM