Uranium(III)-Carbon Multiple Bonding Supported by Arene δ-Bonding in Mixed-Valence Hexauranium Nanometre-Scale Rings

Ashley Wooles, David Mills, Floriana Tuna, Eric Mcinnes, Gareth Law, Adam Fuller, Felipe Kremer, Mark Ridgway, William Lewis, Laura Gagliardi, Bess Vlaisavljevich, Stephen Liddle

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    Despite the fact that non-aqueous uranium chemistry is over 60 years old, most polarised-covalent uranium-element multiple bonds involve formal uranium oxidation states IV, V, and VI. The paucity of uranium(III) congeners is because, in common with metal-ligand multiple bonding generally, such linkages involve strongly donating, charge-loaded ligands that bind best to electron-poor metals and inherently promote disproportionation of uranium(III). Here, we report the synthesis of hexauranium-methanediide nanometre-scale rings. Combined experimental and computational studies suggest overall the presence of formal uranium(III) and (IV) ions, though electron delocalisation in this Kramers system cannot be definitively ruled out, and the resulting polarised-covalent U = C bonds are supported by iodide and δ-bonded arene bridges. The arenes provide reservoirs that accommodate charge, thus avoiding inter-electronic repulsion that would destabilise these low oxidation state metal-ligand multiple bonds. Using arenes as electronic buffers could constitute a general synthetic strategy by which to stabilise otherwise inherently unstable metal-ligand linkages.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2097
    JournalNature Communications
    Early online date29 May 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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