- (1) The Arctic University of Norway, grid.10919.30
- (2) University of the Free State, grid.412219.d
- (3) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
- (4) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, grid.184769.5
Two sets of complexes of Co-triarylcorrole-bispyridine complexes, Co[TpXPC](py)2 and Co[Br8TpXPC](py)2 have been synthesized, where TpXPC refers to a meso-tris(para-X-phenyl)corrole ligand with X = CF3, H, Me, and OMe and Br8TpXPC to the corresponding β-octabrominated ligand. The axial pyridines in these complexes were found to be labile and, in dilute solutions in dichloromethane, the complexes dissociate almost completely to the five-coordinate monopyridine complexes. Upon addition of a small quantity of pyridine, the complexes revert back to the six-coordinate forms. These transformations are accompanied by dramatic changes in color and optical spectra. 1H NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography have confirmed that the bispyridine complexes are authentic low-spin Co(III) species. Strong substituent effects on the Soret maxima and broken-symmetry DFT calculations, however, indicate a CoII-corrole•2- formulation for the five-coordinate Co[TpXPC](py) series. The calculations implicate a Co(dz2)-corrole("a2u") orbital interaction as responsible for the metal-ligand antiferromagnetic coupling that leads to the open-shell singlet ground state of these species. Furthermore, the calculations predict two low-energy S = 1 intermediate-spin Co(III) states, a scenario that we have been able to experimentally corroborate with temperature-dependent EPR studies. Our findings add to the growing body of evidence for noninnocent electronic structures among first-row transition metal corrole derivatives.