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On the Bonding Situation in Stannocene and Plumbocene N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes

submitted on 24.11.2019 and posted on 29.11.2019 by Diego Andrada, Sergi Danés, Lisa Wirtz, Carsten Mueller, Volker Huch, Theresa Block, Rainer Pöttgen, André Schäfer
A detailed experimental and computational study of a series of stannocene and plumbocene N-heterocyclic carbene complexes is presented. This unique class of group 14 Lewis acid base adducts was obtained from reactions of the corresponding metallocenes and N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC), and were structurally characterized by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The obtained structures show a perpendicular pose of the NHC with respect to the metallocene, hence precluding the maximal interaction between the moieties. The nature of the Sn-CNHC and Pb-CNHC bonds have been investigated by applying Energy Decomposition Analysis (EDA-NOCV). For the sake of comparison, known stannocene and plumbocene Lewis base complexes have been included in the series. The attractive chemical bonding interactions are around 50% electrostatic, 30% covalent and 20% dispersion. Indeed, dispersion interactions play a determining role the bigger the substituents become. The covalent interactions derive from the donation of the carbene ligand into the empty p orbital of the metallocene.


ERC Starting grants, EU805113

Emmy Noether-program, SCHA1915/3-1


Email Address of Submitting Author


Saarland University



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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