Relativistic DFT and Experimental Studies of Mono- and Bis-Actinyl Complexes of an Expanded Schiff-Base Polypyrrole Macrocycle

Xiu-jun Zheng, Nicola Bell, Charlotte Stevens, Yu-xi Zhong, Georg Schreckenbach, Polly Louise Arnold, Jason Love, Qing-jiang Pan

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Abstract / Description of output

The computationally- and experimentally-determined molecular structures of a bis-uranyl(VI) complex of an expanded Schiff-base polypyrrolic macrocycle [(UO2)2(L)] are in close agreement only if the pyridine in the fifth equatorial donor site on the uranium is included in the calculations. The relativistic density functional theory (DFT) calculations presented here are augmented from those on previously reported simpler frameworks, and demonstrate that other augmentations, such as the incorporation of condensed-phase media and the changes in the peripheral groups of the ligand, have only a slight effect. Synthetic routes to pure samples of the bis- and mono-uranyl(VI) complexes have been developed using pyridine and arene solvents, respectively, allowing the experimental determination of the molecular structures by X-ray single crystal diffraction; these agree well with the calculated structures. A comprehensive set of calculations have been performed on a series of actinyl AnO2n+ complexes of this macrocyclic ligand. These include both bis- and mono-actinyl adducts for the metals U, Np and Pu, and formal oxidation states VI and V. The reduction potentials of the complexes for U, Np, and Pu, incorporating both solvation and spin-orbit coupling considerations, show the order Np > Pu > U. The agreement between experimental and computed data for U is excellent, suggesting that at this level of computation predictions made about the significantly more radiotoxic Np and Pu molecules should be accurate. A particularly unusual structure of the mononuclear plutonyl(V) complex was predicted by quantum chemical calculations, in which a twist in the macrocycle allows one of the two endo-oxo groups to form a hydrogen bond to one pyrrole group of the opposite side of the macrocycle, in accordance with this member of the set containing the most Lewis basic oxo groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15910-15921
Number of pages12
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016

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