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The University of Southampton

Research project: Levason: Multidentate and Macrocyclic Selenoether and Telluroether Chemistry

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The first examples of chelating bidentate ditelluroethers and of polydentate tellurium ligands were prepared by us some 20 years ago, and we have prepared a wide range of metal complexes.

Studies of these complexes, especially crystallographically and by 125Te NMR spectroscopy have shown that telluroethers are better s-donors than sulfur or selenium analogues towards low-valent metal centres, and are excellent ligands for metal carbonyl fragments, but much less able to bond to metals in high oxidation states. Detailed studies of the synthesis of bi-, tri- and tetraselenoether macrocycles and their metal complexes with platinum metal halides, Co(III), Ni(II) have been conducted (in addition to studies of complexes with main group elements referred to above). We have also prepared some rare examples of mixed Te/O macrocycles which typically bond to metals only via Te. Much of the chemistry we have carried out in this area has been in parallel with work with acyclic analogues described above, in this way one can establish how the macrocyclic framework contributes unique properties to many of the complexes.

Current work has produced new high yielding routes to macrocyclic selenoethers with different inter donor linkages which will permit fine tuning of the ring size and flexibility/rigidity of the rings. The chemistry of these ligands with early transition metal and p-block metals is the current target. Homoleptic tellurium macrocycles remain very little known and developing high yield routes to permit their chemistry to be explored remains a medium term goal.

Related research groups

Functional Inorganic, Materials and Supramolecular Chemistry
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