Free H rotation vs Jahn-Teller constraints in the nonclassical trigonal (TPB)Co-H complex. Academic Article uri icon


  • Proton exchange within the M-H2 moiety of (TPB)Co(H2) (Co-H2; TPB = B(o-C6H4P(i)Pr2)3) by 2-fold rotation about the M-H2 axis is probed through EPR/ENDOR studies and a neutron diffraction crystal structure. This complex is compared with previously studied (SiP(iPr)3)Fe(H2) (Fe-H2) (SiP(iPr)3 = [Si(o-C6H4P(i)Pr2)3]). The g-values for Co-H2 and Fe-H2 show that both have the Jahn-Teller (JT)-active (2)E ground state (idealized C3 symmetry) with doubly degenerate frontier orbitals, (e)(3) = [|mL 2>](3) = [x(2) - y(2), xy](3), but with stronger linear vibronic coupling for Co-H2. The observation of (1)H ENDOR signals from the Co-HD complex, (2)H signals from the Co-D2/HD complexes, but no (1)H signals from the Co-H2 complex establishes that H2 undergoes proton exchange at 2 K through rotation around the Co-H2 axis, which introduces a quantum-statistical (Pauli-principle) requirement that the overall nuclear wave function be antisymmetric to exchange of identical protons (I = 1/2; Fermions), symmetric for identical deuterons (I = 1; Bosons). Analysis of the 1-D rotor problem indicates that Co-H2 exhibits rotor-like behavior in solution because the underlying C3 molecular symmetry combined with H2 exchange creates a dominant 6-fold barrier to H2 rotation. Fe-H2 instead shows H2 localization at 2 K because a dominant 2-fold barrier is introduced by strong Fe(3d) H2(*) -backbonding that becomes dependent on the H2 orientation through quadratic JT distortion. ENDOR sensitively probes bonding along the L2-M-E axis (E = Si for Fe-H2; E = B for Co-H2). Notably, the isotropic (1)H/(2)H hyperfine coupling to the diatomic of Co-H2 is nearly 4-fold smaller than for Fe-H2.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Gunderson, W. A., Suess, D., Fong, H., Wang, X., Hoffmann, C. M., Cutsail, G. E., Peters, J. C., & Hoffman, B. M.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Gunderson, William A||Suess, Daniel LM||Fong, Henry||Wang, Xiaoping||Hoffmann, Christina M||Cutsail, George E||Peters, Jonas C||Hoffman, Brian M

publication date

  • October 2014