Carbon-to-metal hydrogen atom transfer: Direct observation using time-resolved infrared spectroscopy

Jie Zhang, David C. Grills, Kuo-Wei Huang, Etsuko Fujita, R. Morris Bullock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We report the direct spectroscopic observation of hydrogen atom transfer reactions from carbon to metals, in which homolytic cleavage of a C-H bond is accomplished at a single metal center. Laser flash photolysis (355 nm) of a solution of [Cp(CO)2Os]2 leads to homolysis of the Os-Os bond and formation of the osmium-centered radical, Cp(CO)2Os, as observed by time-resolved infrared (TRIR) spectroscopy. DFT computations on Cp(CO)2Os support this assignment. Continuous photolysis (λ > 300 nm) of [Cp(CO)2Os]2 in the presence of excess 1,4-cyclohexadiene produces the osmium hydride Cp(CO)2OsH. The kinetics of this carbon-to-metal hydrogen atom transfer were examined by TRIR spectroscopy. The second-order rate constant for hydrogen atom transfer from 1,4-cyclohexadiene to Cp(CO)2Os in hexane at 23 °C is kH = (2.1 ± 0.2) × 106 M-1 s-1. The pKa of Cp(CO)2OsH was determined as 32.7 in CH3CN, and use of a thermochemical cycle provided an estimated lower limit of 82 kcal/mol for the Os-H bond dissociation energy, indicating that it is an exceptionally strong M-H bond. Photolysis of [Tp(CO)2Os]2 (Tp = hydridotris(pyrazolyl)borate) results in carbon-to-metal hydrogen atom transfers from even stronger C-H bonds (THF or toluene) and produces Tp(CO)2OsH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15684-15685
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 16 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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