Synthesis and structural studies of peri-substituted acenaphthenes with tertiary phosphine and stibine groups

Laurence John Taylor, Emma Lawson, David Bradford Cordes, Kasun Sankalpa Athukorala Arachchige, Alexandra Martha Zoya Slawin, Brian Alexander Chalmers*, Petr Kilian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two mixed peri-substituted phosphine-chlorostibines, Acenap(PiPr2)(SbPhCl) and Acenap(PiPr2)(SbCl2) (Acenap = acenaphthene-5,6-diyl) reacted cleanly with Grignard reagents or nBuLi to give the corresponding tertiary phosphine-stibines Acenap(PiPr2)(SbRR’) (R, R’ = Me, iPr, nBu, Ph). In addition, the Pt(II) complex of the tertiary phosphine-stibine Acenap(PiPr2)(SbPh2) as well as the Mo(0) complex of Acenap(PiPr2)(SbMePh) were synthesised and characterised. Two of the phosphine-stibines and the two metal complexes were characterised by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The peri-substituted species act as bidentate ligands through both P and Sb atoms, forming rather short Sb-metal bonds. The tertiary phosphine-stibines display through-space J(CP) couplings between the phosphorus atom and carbon atoms bonded directly to the Sb atom of up to 40 Hz. The sequestration of the P and Sb lone pairs results in much smaller corresponding J(CP) being observed in the metal complexes. QTAIM (Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules) and EDA-NOCV (Energy Decomposition Analysis employing Naturalised Orbitals for Chemical Valence) computational techniques were used to provide additional insight into a weak n(P)→σ*(Sb-C) intramolecular bonding interaction (pnictogen bond) in the phosphine-stibines.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2024


  • peri-substitution
  • phosphorus
  • antimony
  • NMR
  • single-crystal X-ray structures
  • synthesis
  • pnictogen bond


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