Pulsed laser flash photolysis of M(CO)6 (M = Cr, W) in cyclohexane with a small amount of benzene results in three sequential reactions. The first is the photodissociation of the parent to yield a M(CO)5:C6H12 complex, which takes place faster than the time resolution of our experiments. The second reaction is the replacement of the cyclohexane ligand with benzene to form a M(CO)5:C6H6 complex, in which benzene is coordinated to the metal via one side of the ring. This complex then falls apart in solution as M(CO)5 coordinates with a trace impurity in the solution that is likely water. Kinetic studies over a range of temperatures result in the following activation energies: 39 kJ/mol for the dissociation of W(CO)5:C6H6; 30 kJ/mol for conversion of Cr(CO)5:C6H12 to Cr(CO)5:C6H6; 33 kJ/mol for the dissociation of Cr(CO)5:C6H6. DFT calculations of binding energies for each complex suggest that all reactions proceed through a combination of an associative and dissociative mechanism. Further calculations of carbonyl vibrational frequencies for 13 weak metal–solvent complexes using three different density functionals: B3LYP, M06, and M06-L allowed us to calculate scale factors for predicting experimental vibrational frequencies. The scale factors are: 0.952 for B3LYP, 0.943 for M06, and 0.957 for M06-L. Using these scale factors leads to average errors in predicted experimental vibrational frequencies of less than 1% for each functional.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



Date Submitted


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Transition metal, IR spectroscopy, carbonyl, density functional theory, W(CO)6, Cr(CO)6