Copper-hydride nanoclusters with enhanced stability by N-heterocyclic carbenes
metal clusters, copper-hydride, N-heterocylic carbene, stability, superatom
Copper-hydrides have been intensively studied for a long time due to their utilization in a variety of technologically important chemical transformations. Nevertheless, poor stability of the species severely hinders its isolation, storage and operation, which is worse for nano-sized ones. We report here an unprecedented strategy to access to ultrastable copper-hydride nanoclusters (NCs), namely, using bidentate N-heterocyclic carbenes as stabilizing ligands in addition to thiolates. In this work, a simple synthetic protocol was developed to synthesize the first large copper-hydride nanoclusters (NCs) stabilized by N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs). The NC, with the formula of Cu31(RS)25(NHC)3H6 (NHC = 1,4-bis(1-benzyl-1H-benzimidazol-1-ium-3-yl) butane, RS = 4-fluorothiophenol), was fully characterized by high resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrum, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultra-violet visible spectroscopy, density functional theory (DFT) calculations and single-crystal X-ray crystallography. Structurally, the title cluster exhibits unprecedented Cu4 tetrahedron-based vertex-sharing (TBVS) superstructure (fusion of six Cu4 tetrahedra). Moreover, the ultrahigh thermal stability renders the cluster a model system to highlight the power of NHCs (even other carbenes) in controlling geometrical, electronic and surface structure of polyhydrido copper clusters.
Tsinghua University Press
Hui Shen, Lingzheng Wang, Omar López-Estrada et al. Copper-hydride nanoclusters with enhanced stability by N-heterocyclic carbenes. Nano Research 2021, 14(9): 3303-3308.