Formation and Characterization of Reduced Metal Complexes in the Gas Phase

Abstract : The complete characterization of reaction intermediates in homogeneous catalytic processes is often a difficult task owing to their reactivity and low concentration. This is particularly true for radical species such as reduced organometallic complexes, which are intermediates in photocatalysis, or when these complexes included non-innocent ligands. Consequently, their electronic structure in the ground state is still poorly understood, knowing that the added electron can be located on different sites of the molecule.In this contect, we developed an analytical method to study radical organometallic complexes in the gas phase. We started with formation of suitable multi-charged zinc organometallic complexes in the gas phase from mixture of zinc metal cation and bipyridine-type bidentate or bis(imino)pyridine tridentate ligands. Multicharged ruthenium complexes with similar ligands have also been studied. Under ideal circumstances these complexes were isolated and reduced in the gas phase to form monocationic metal species. Electron activated methods such as electron capture dissociation (ECD) and electron transferred dissociation (ETD) techniques, available in FT-ICR mass spectrometers, have been used to that end. The resulting Zn and Ru radical cation complexes are then isolated in the gas phase and probed via infrared multi photon dissociation (IRMPD) action spectroscopy. In support, DFT theoretical calculations were performed to model their electronic structure and IR spectra.Two main issues were faced during the development of this new analytical tool. First, we had to be able to obtain the desired complexes in the gas phase. This has lead to monitor various parameters, such as the nature of the ligands or the internal energy provided by the reduction step. The second challenge dealt with the use of modeling methods. We have shown that standard modelling tools lack the accuracy to predict both electronic structure and spectral signatures of reduced complexes. The experimental data gathered in this work have therefore been used as benchmarks for the identification of DFT functionals that are most appropriate for the study of these radical complexes.
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Madanakrishna Katari. Formation and Characterization of Reduced Metal Complexes in the Gas Phase. Chemical Physics [physics.chem-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLX091⟩. ⟨tel-01494829⟩

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