Ring-opening polymerisation of silver-diphosphine [M2L3] coordination cages to give [M2L3](infinity) coordination polymers

E. Lozano, Stuart James, Mark Nieuwenhuyzen

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[M2L3] coordination cages and linear [M2L3]infinity polymers of the rigid, bridging diphosphines bis(diphenylphosphino)acetylene (dppa) and trans-1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethylene (dppet) with silver(I) salts have been investigated in the solution and solid states. Unlike flexible diphosphines, 1:1 dppa/AgX mixtures do not selectively form discrete [Ag2(diphos)2(X)2] macrocycles; instead dynamic mixtures of one-, two- and three-coordinate complexes are formed. However, 3:2 dppa/AgX ratios (X = SbF6. BF4, O3SCF3 or NO3) do lead selectively to new [M2L3] triply bridged cage complexes [Ag2(dppa)3(X)2] 1a-d (X = SbF6 a, BF4 b, O3SCF3 c, NO3 d), which do not exhibit Ag-P bond dissociation at room temperature on the NMR time scale (121 MHz). Complexes la-d were characterised by X-ray crystallography and were found to have small internal cavities, helical conformations and multiple intramolecular aromatic interactions. The nucleophilicity of the anion subtly influences the cage shape: Increasing nucleophilicity from SbF6 (1a) through BF4 (1b) and O3SCF3 (1c) to NO3 (1d) increases the pyramidal distortion at the AgP3 centres, stretching the cage framework (with Ag...Ag distances increasing from 5.48 in 1a to 6.21 A in 1d) and giving thinner internal cavities. Crystal packing strongly affected the size of the helical twist angle, and no correlation between this parameter and the Ag-Ag distance was observed. When crystalline 1c was stored in its supernatant for 16 weeks, conversion occured to the isostoichiometric [M2L3]infinity coordination polymer [Ag(dppa)2Ag(dppa)(O3SCF3)2]infinity (1c'). X-ray crystallography revealed a structure with ten-membered Ag2(dppa)2 rings linked into infinite one-dimensional chains by a third dppa unit. The clear structural relationship between this polymer and the precursor cage 1c suggests a novel example of ring-opening polymerisation. With dppet, evidence for discrete [M2L3] cages was also found in solution, although 31P NMR spectroscopy suggested some Ag-P bond dissociation. On crystallisation, only the corresponding ring-opened polymeric structures [M2L3]infinity could be obtained. This may be because the greater steric bulk of dppet versus dppa destabilises the cage and favours the ring-opening polymerisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2644-2651
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2001


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