Mixed-valence nickel-iron dithiolate models of the [NiFe]-hydrogenase active site.
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A series of mixed-valence nickel-iron dithiolates is described. Oxidation of (diphosphine)Ni(dithiolate)Fe(CO)(3) complexes 1, 2, and 3 with ferrocenium salts affords the corresponding tricarbonyl cations [(dppe)Ni(pdt)Fe(CO)(3)](+) ((+)), [(dppe)Ni(edt)Fe(CO)(3)](+) ((+)) and [(dcpe)Ni(pdt)Fe(CO)(3)](+) ((+)), respectively, where dppe = Ph(2)PCH(2)CH(2)PPh(2), dcpe = Cy(2)PCH(2)CH(2)PCy(2), (Cy = cyclohexyl), pdtH(2) = HSCH(2)CH(2)CH(2)SH, and edtH(2) = HSCH(2)CH(2)SH. The cation (+) proved unstable, but the propanedithiolates are robust. IR and EPR spectroscopic measurements indicate that these species exist as C(s)-symmetric species. Crystallographic characterization of BF(4) shows that Ni is square planar. Interaction of BF(4) with P-donor ligands (L) afforded a series of substituted derivatives of type [(dppe)Ni(pdt)Fe(CO)(2)L]BF(4) for L = P(OPh)(3) ([4a]BF(4)), P(p-C(6)H(4)Cl)(3) ([4b]BF(4)), PPh(2)(2-py) ([4c]BF(4)), PPh(2)(OEt) ([4d]BF(4)), PPh(3) ([4e]BF(4)), PPh(2)(o-C(6)H(4)OMe) ([4f]BF(4)), PPh(2)(o-C(6)H(4)OCH(2)OMe) ([4g]BF(4)), P(p-tol)(3) ([4h]BF(4)), P(p-C(6)H(4)OMe)(3) ([4i]BF(4)), and PMePh(2) ([4j]BF(4)). EPR analysis indicates that ethanedithiolate (+) exists as a single species at 110 K, whereas the propanedithiolate cations exist as a mixture of two conformers, which are proposed to be related through a flip of the chelate ring. Mssbauer spectra of 1 and oxidized S = 1/2 [4e]BF(4) are both consistent with a low-spin Fe(I) state. The hyperfine coupling tensor of [4e]BF(4) has a small isotropic component and significant anisotropy. DFT calculations using the BP86, B3LYP, and PBE0 exchange-correlation functionals agree with the structural and spectroscopic data, suggesting that the SOMOs in complexes of the present type are localized in an Fe(I)-centered d(z(2)) orbital. The DFT calculations allow an assignment of oxidation states of the metals and rationalization of the conformers detected by EPR spectroscopy. Treatment of (+) with CN(-) and compact basic phosphines results in complex reactions. With dppe, (+) undergoes quasi-disproportionation to give 1 and the diamagnetic complex [(dppe)Ni(pdt)Fe(CO)(2)(dppe)](2+) ((2+)), which features square-planar Ni linked to an octahedral Fe center.