Redox Reactions between Phosphines (R3P; R =nBu, Ph) or Carbene (iPr2IM) and Chalcogen Tetrahalides ChX4(iPr2IM = 2,5-diisopropylimidazole-2-ylidene; Ch = Se, Te; X = Cl, Br) Academic Article uri icon


  • The reactions between chalcogen tetrahalides (ChX(4); Ch = Se, Te; X = Cl, Br) and the neutral donors (n)Bu(3)P, Ph(3)P, or the N-heterocyclic carbene, 2,5-diisopropylimidazole-2-ylidene ((i)Pr(2)IM), have been investigated. In cases involving a phosphine, the chemistry can be understood in terms of a succession of two-electron redox reactions, resulting in reduction of the chalcogen center (e.g., Se(IV) --> Se(II)) and the oxidation of phosphorus to the [R(3)P-X] cation (P(III) --> P(V)). The stepwise reduction of Se(IV) --> Se(II) --> Se(0) --> Se(-II) occurs upon the successive addition of stoichiometric equivalents of Ph(3)P to SeCl(4), which can readily be monitored by 31P{(1)H} NMR spectroscopy. In the case of reacting SeX(4) with (i)Pr(2)IM, a similar two-electron reduction of the chalcogen is observed and there is the concomitant production of a haloimidazolium hexahaloselenate salt. The products have been comprehensively characterized, and the solid-state structures of [R(3)PX][SeX(3)] (9), [Ph(3)PCl](2)[TeCl(6)] (10), (i)Pr(2)IM-SeX(2) (11), and [(i)Pr(2)IM-Cl](2)[SeCl(6)] (12) have been determined by X-ray diffraction analysis. These data all support two electron redox reactions and can be considered in terms of the formal reductive elimination of X2, which is sequestered by the Lewis base.


  • Dutton, Jason L
  • Tabeshi, Raymond
  • Jennings, Michael C
  • Lough, Alan J
  • Ragogna, Paul J

publication date

  • October 2007