Half-sandwich iridium- and rhodium-based organometallic architectures: rational design, synthesis, characterization, and applications.Acc Chem Res. 2014 Dec 16; 47(12):3571-9.AC
CONSPECTUS: Over the last two decades, researchers have focused on the design and synthesis of supramolecular coordination complexes, which contain discrete functional structures with particular shapes and sizes, and are similar to classic metal-organic frameworks. Chemists can regulate many of these systems by judiciously choosing the metal centers and their adjoining ligands. These resulting complexes have unusual properties and therefore many applications, including molecular recognition, supramolecular catalysis, and some applications as nanomaterials. In addition, researchers have extensively developed synthetic methodologies for the construction of discrete self-assemblies. One of the most important challenges for scientists in this area is to be able to synthesize target structures that can be controlled in both length and width. For this reason, it is important that we understand the factors leading to special shapes and sizes of such architectures, especially how starting building blocks and functional ligands affect the final conformations and cavity sizes of the resulting assemblies. Towards this goal, we have developed a wide range of different organometallic architectures by rationally designing metal-containing precursors and organic ligands. In this Account, we present our recent work, focusing on half-sandwich iridium- and rhodium-based organometallic assemblies that we obtained through rational design. We discuss their synthesis, structures, and applications for the encapsulation of guests and enzyme-mimicking catalysis. We first describe a series of self-assembled organometallic metallarectangles and metallacages, which we constructed from preorganized dinuclear half-sandwich molecular clips and suitable pyridyl ligands. We extended this strategy to tune the size of the obtained rectangles, creating large cavities by introduction of larger molecular clips. The cavity was found to exhibit selective and reversible CH2Cl2 adsorption properties while retaining single crystallinity. By using suitable molecular clips, we found we could use a number of metallacycles as organometallic templates to direct photochemical [2 + 2] cycloaddition reactions, even in the solid state. Due to their chemical stability and potential applications in catalytic reactions, researchers are giving significant attention to complexes with cyclometalated backbones. We also highlight our efforts to develop efficient approaches to utilize cyclometalated building blocks for the formation of organometallic assemblies. By incorporation of imine ligands or benzoic acids, bipyridine linking subunits, and half-sandwich iridium or rhodium fragments, we built up a series of cationic and neutral metallacycles through cyclometalation-driven self-assembly. In addition, we have developed an efficient route to carborane-based metallacycles, involving the exploitation of metal-induced B-H activation. The method can provide prism-like metallacages, which are efficient hosts for the recognition of planar aromatic guests. This effort provides an incentive to generate new building blocks for the construction of organometallic assemblies. Taken together, our results may lead to a promising future for the design of complicated enzyme-mimetic-catalyzed systems.