Kinetic and Computational Analysis of CO Substitution in a Dinuclear Osmium Carbonyl Complex: Intersection between Dissociative and Dissociative-Interchange Mechanisms. Academic Article uri icon


  • The mechanism for the CO substitution reaction involving the diosmium carbonyl sawhorse complex Os2(-O2CH)2(CO)6, which contains an Os-Os single bond, two axial CO ligands, and four equatorial CO ligands, was investigated experimentally and theoretically. Kinetic measurements show 13CO axial substitution proceeding by a dissociative reaction that is first-order in the complex and zero-order in 13CO but with an unexpectedly negative entropy of activation. The corresponding electronic structure calculations yield an enthalpy of activation for axial CO dissociation that is much larger than that determined by the kinetic experiments, but in agreement with the complex's stability with respect to CO loss. Additional calculations yield a dissociative interchange transition state whose free energy, enthalpy, and entropy of activation are in good agreement with those obtained from the kinetic measurements for the apparently dissociative substitution. These results point to an exchange reaction mechanism that is surprisingly close to the poorly understood transition from a dissociative mechanism with a CO-loss intermediate to a dissociative interchange mechanism with a transition state involving both the entering and the leaving COs. The key to explain these findings is provided by the vibrational analysis, which shows very low energy wagging motions for the axial COs. Thus, the incoming CO only displaces the outgoing CO when the complex has an outgoing CO near the wag's turning point. This dissociative interchange mechanism predicted by the calculation explains the unexpected combination of kinetics and stability characteristics. Kinetics reveals that the reaction is first-order in the Os dimer with a negative Eyring entropy, while a stability study shows that the Os dimer's decomposition rate is several orders of magnitude slower than CO exchange.

published proceedings

  • Inorg Chem

altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Martinez, Z. M., Folsom, T. M., Tong, Y., Archambeau, A. K., Darensbourg, D. J., Hall, M. B., Powell, C. B., & Powell, G. L.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Martinez, Zachary M||Folsom, Tucker M||Tong, Yicheng||Archambeau, Ashley K||Darensbourg, Donald J||Hall, Michael B||Powell, Cynthia B||Powell, Gregory L

publication date

  • January 2022