Synthesis and Structures of the [MoFe₆S₆(CO)₁₆]²⁻, [MoFe₄S₃(CO)₁₃(PEt₃)]²⁻, and [Mo₂Fe₂S₂(CO)₁₂]²⁻ Ions: High-nuclearity Mo-Fe-S Clusters as Potential Precursors to Models for the FeMo-Cofactor of Nitrogenase


Reaction of [Mo(CO)4I3]- with 2-3 equiv of [Fe2S(CO)6]2- in THF produces two new Mo-Fe-S-CO clusters, the [MoFe6S6-(CO)16]2- (I) and [MoFe4S3(CO)14]2- (II) ions, both of which have been structurally characterized, the latter as its mono(triethylphosphine) substitution product, [MoFe4S3(CO)13(PEt3)]2- (II-P). Crystallographic data: (Ph4As)2(I), triclinic, P1 (No. 2), Z = 2, a = 12.473 (12) Å, b = 12.836 (13) Å, c = 22.360 (22) Å, α = 90.96 (2)°, β = 97.58 (2)°, γ = 99.52 (2)°, V = 3497 Å3, R = 0.083, Rw = 0.094, 9146 independent reflections with I > 2.5σ(I); (Et4N)2(I), monoclinic, P21/c (No. 14), Z = 4, a = 19.275 (7) Å, b = 11.940 (3) Å, c = 20.975 (1) Å, β = 90.38 (4)°, V = 4827 Å3, R = 0.038, Rw = 0.048, 3872 independent reflections with I > 3σ(I); (Ph4As)2(II-P), monoclinic, P21/c (No. 14), Z = 4, a = 18.124 (4) Å, b = 15.630 (3) Å, c = 24.665 (5) Å, β = 98.109 (2)°, V = 6917 Å3, R = 0.063, Rw = 0.063, 3874 independent reflections with I > 5σ(I). Cluster I consists of a low-symmetry (C1) arrangement of Fe atoms about a highly distorted trigonal-prismatic MoS6 core, in which all sulfur atoms bridge to two or three Fe atoms. In one direction along a pseudo-2-fold axis of the trigonal prism are two Fe atoms at 2.74 and 2.77 Å from Mo, while the opposite tetragonal face is spanned by a zigzag chain of four Fe atoms, one of which at 2.68 Å is also bonded to Mo. The four-Fe chain contains one relatively long (2.74 Å) Fe-Fe interaction and a single bridging CO ligand, with terminal CO's completing the ligation to each Fe. The structure of I is essentially identical in both salts examined, suggesting that it arises from electronic considerations rather than crystal packing effects. The MoFe6S6 core stoichiometry of I together with the presence of three Fe atoms 2.7 Å from Mo makes it the closest synthetic approximation yet to the core stoichiometry and structure of the FeMo-cofactor of nitrogenase, suggesting that it may serve as a precursor to models for the FeMo-cofactor via oxidative decarbonylation reactions. Cluster II-P also exhibits a low-symmetry structure in which three new Mo-Fe interactions have been formed within an approximately square-pyramidal MoS3(CO)2 coordination sphere derived from coordination of two [Fe2S2(CO)6]2- units to Mo with loss of one sulfur atom. The PEt3 ligand is coordinated to the only Fe atom not bonded to Mo. The average Mo-S distance in both I and II-P is 2.43 Å, consistent with a Mo(II) formulation. Reaction of [Mo(CO)5I]- with 1 equiv of [Fe2S2(CO)6]2- results in the formation of cluster II in addition to a new cluster, the [Mo2Fe2S2(CO)6]2- ion (III), which has been characterized as its Ph4As+ salt. Crystallographic data for (Ph4As)2(III): monoclinic, P21/m (No. 11), Z = 4, a = 11.938 (20) Å, b = 16.729 (30) Å, c = 15.694 (25) Å, β = 111.45 (50)°, V = 2918 Å3, R = 0.062, Rw = 0.058, 3182 independent reflections with I > 3σ(I). The structure of III consists of a centrosymmetric distorted octahedral Mo2Fe2S2 core containing a planar Mo2Fe2 unit, with each Mo coordinated by three terminal CO's, each Fe coordinated by two terminal CO's, and a single CO bridging the Mo and Fe. The average Mo-S distance is 2.54 Å, consistent with a Mo(0) formulation. Plausible schemes for formation of clusters I-III are presented: cluster III arises from reaction of [Fe2S2(CO)6]2- with two [Mo(CO)5I]- ions; cluster II results from reaction of [Mo(CO)4I3]- with the dimeric disulflde-containing species [Fe4S4(CO)12]2- produced in situ by oxidation of [Fe2S2(CO)6]2-; and cluster III requires the reaction of [Mo(CO)4I3]- with both [Fe2S2(CO)6]2- and [Fe4S4(CO)12]2-. The implications of clusters I-III for the structure of the FeMo-cofactor of nitrogenase and as potential precursors to detailed models for the FeMo-cofactor are discussed.




This article is corrected by an erratum.

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© 1991 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

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01 May 1991