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Terrestrial Trapping of the Interstellar Gas, Phosphorus Nitride

submitted on 11.06.2020, 18:34 and posted on 15.06.2020, 12:55 by Jorge L. Martinez, Sean A. Lutz, daniel beagan, Xinfeng Gao, Maren Pink, Chun-Hsing Chen, veronica carta, Pierre Moënne-Loccoz, Jeremy Smith
The N2 analogue phosphorus nitride (PN) was the first phosphorus containing compound to be detected in the interstellar medium, however this thermodynamically unstable compound has a fleeting existence on Earth. Here, we show that reductive coupling of iron(IV) nitride and molybdenum(VI) phosphide complexes assembles PN as a bridging ligand in a structurally-characterized bimetallic complex. Reaction with C≡NtBu releases the mononuclear complex [(N3N)Mo-PN], N3N = [(Me3SiNCH2CH2)3N]3−), which undergoes light-induced linkage isomerization to provide [(N3N)Mo-NP], as revealed by photocrystallography. While structural and spectroscopic characterization, supported by electronic structure calculations reveal PN multiple bond character, coordination to molybdenum creates nucleophilic character at the terminal atom of the PN/NP ligands. Indeed, the linkage isomers can be trapped in solution by reaction with a Rh(I) electrophile.


NSF CHE-1566258

NSF CHE-1900020

NSF CHE-1834750

DOE DE-AC02-06CH11357

NIH GM074785


Email Address of Submitting Author


Indiana University


United States

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest