Reactivity of a dichlorophosphido complex. Nucleophilic substitution reactions at metal coordinated phosphorus

Rakesh A. Rajagopalan, Arumugam Jayaraman, Brian T. Sterenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Reaction of the dichlorophosphido complex [Cp*Mo(CO) 3(PCl2)] (1) with AlCl3 leads to the bimetallic bridging P2Cl3 complex [{Cp*Mo(CO) 3}2(μ-P2Cl3)][AlCl4] (2), which is formed via a Lewis-acid assisted nucleophilic substitution reaction, and not via a chlorophosphinidene intermediate. A similar reaction with external nucleophile PPh3 leads to [Cp*Mo(CO) 3(P(Cl)PPh3)][AlCl4] (3), which can be viewed as a phosphine coordinated chlorophosphinidene complex. Addition of two equivalents each of PPh3 and AlCl3 leads a double chloride displacement, and formation of the known triphosphenium salt [Ph 3PPPPh3][AlCl4]. In this reaction the dichlorophosphido complex effectively act as a source of P+. Reaction of 1 with alkoxides leads to alkoxyphosphido complexes [Cp*Mo(CO) 3{P(OR)Cl}] (R = p-t-butyl phenoxy, menthoxy). These complexes serve as precursors to transient alkoxy phosphinidenes [Cp*Mo(CO) 3{POR}]+, which can be trapped with alkynes. A computational study on the chloro, alkoxy, and related amino and alkyl phosphinidenes shows that chloro and alkoxy phosphinidenes have minimal π-donation to P from Cl or OR, in contrast to stable aminophosphinidenes, which have significant N to P π-donation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Organometallic Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkoxyphosphinidene
  • Metal-mediated synthesis
  • Nucleophilic substitution
  • Phosphinidene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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