A regioselectively 1,1′,3,3′-tetrazincated ferrocene complex displaying core and peripheral reactivity

Honeyman, Gordon W.; Armstrong, David R.; Clegg, William; Hevia, Eva; Kennedy, Alan R.; McLellan, Ross; Orr, Samantha A.; Parkinson, John A.; Ramsay, Donna L.; Robertson, Stuart D.; Towie, Stephen; Mulvey, Robert E. (2020). A regioselectively 1,1′,3,3′-tetrazincated ferrocene complex displaying core and peripheral reactivity. Chemical Science, 11(25), pp. 6510-6520. Royal Society of Chemistry 10.1039/D0SC01612H

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Regioselective 1,1′,3,3′-tetrazincation [C–H to C–Zn(tBu)] of ferrocene has been achieved by reaction of a fourfold excess of di-t-butylzinc (tBu2Zn) with sodium 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidide (NaTMP) in hexane solution manifested in the trimetallic iron–sodium–zinc complex [Na4(TMP)4Zn4(tBu)4{(C5H3)2Fe}], 1. X-ray crystallographic studies supported by DFT modelling reveal the structure to be an open inverse crown in which two [Na(TMP)Zn(tBu)Na(TMP)Zn(tBu)]2+ cationic units surround a {(C5H3)2Fe}4− tetraanion. Detailed C6D6 NMR studies have assigned the plethora of 1H and 13C chemical shifts of this complex. It exists in a major form in which capping and bridging TMP groups interchange, as well as a minor form that appears to be an intermediate in this complicated exchange phenomenon. Investigation of 1 has uncovered two distinct reactivities. Two of its peripheral t-butyl carbanions formally deprotonate toluene at the lateral methyl group to generate benzyl ligands that replace these carbanions in [Na4(TMP)4Zn4(tBu)2(CH2Ph)2{(C5H3)2Fe}], 2, which retains its tetrazincated ferrocenyl core. Benzyl-Na π-arene interactions are a notable feature of 2. In contrast, reaction with pyridine affords the crystalline product {[Na·4py][Zn(py*)2(tBu)·py]}∞, 3, where py is neutral pyridine (C5H5N) and py* is the anion (4-C5H4N), a rare example of pyridine deprotonated/metallated at the 4-position. This ferrocene-free complex appears to be a product of core reactivity in that the core-positioned ferrocenyl anions of 1, in company with TMP anions, have formally deprotonated the heterocycle.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Honeyman, Gordon William, Hevia Freire, Eva


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Royal Society of Chemistry




Franziska Bornhauser-Rufer

Date Deposited:

17 Mar 2021 16:24

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:49

Publisher DOI:






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