Initial metal-metal bond breakage detected by fs X-ray scattering in the photolysis of Ru3(CO)12 in cyclohexane at 400 nm

Q. Y. Kong*, M. G. Laursen, K. Haldrup, K. S. Kjær, D. Khakhulin, E. Biasin, T. B. van Driel, M. Wulff, V. Kabanova, R. Vuilleumier, S. Bratos, M. M. Nielsen, K. J. Gaffney, T. C. Weng, M. H. J. Koch

*Corresponding author for this work

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Using femtosecond resolution X-ray solution scattering at a free electron laser we were able to directly observe metal-metal bond cleavage upon photolysis at 400 nm of Ru3(CO)12, a prototype for the photochemistry of transition metal carbonyls. This leads to the known single intermediate Ru3(CO)11(μ-CO)*, with a bridging ligand (μCO) and where the asterisk indicates an open Ru3-ring. This loses a CO ligand on a picosecond time scale yielding a newly observed triple bridge intermediate, Ru3(CO)8(μ-CO)3*. This loses another CO ligand to form the previously observed Ru3(CO)10, which returns to Ru3(CO)12 via the known single-bridge Ru3(CO)10(μ-CO). These results indicate that contrary to long standing hypotheses, metal-metal bond breakage is the only chemical reaction immediately following the photolysis of Ru3(CO)12 at 400 nm. Combined with previous picosecond resolution X-ray scattering data and time resolved infrared spectroscopy these results yield a new mechanism for the photolysis of Ru3(CO)12.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhotochemical & Photobiological Sciences
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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