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Isolation of a Terminal Co(III)-Oxo Complex

Goetz, McKenna K., Hill, Ethan A., Filatov, Alexander S., Anderson, John S.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018 v.140 no.41 pp. 13176-13180
borates, catalytic activity, cobalt, viability
Late transition metal oxo complexes with high d-electron counts have been implicated as intermediates in a wide variety of important catalytic reactions; however, their reactive nature has often significantly limited their study. While some examples of these species have been isolated and characterized, complexes with d-electron counts >4 are exceedingly rare. Here we report that use of a strongly donating tris(imidazol-2-ylidene)borate scaffold enables the isolation of two highly unusual Coᴵᴵᴵ-oxo complexes which have been thoroughly characterized by a suite of physical techniques including single crystal X-ray diffraction. These complexes display O atom and H atom transfer reactivity and demonstrate that terminal metal oxo complexes with six d-electrons can display strong metal–oxygen bonding and sufficient stability to enable their characterization. The unambiguous assignment of these complexes supports the viability of related species that are frequently invoked, but rarely observed, in the types of catalytic reactions mentioned above. The studies described here change our understanding of the reactivity and bonding in late transition metal oxo complexes and open the door to further study of the properties of this class of elusive and important intermediates.