Purdue University Graduate School
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MULTI-ELECTRON REDOX CHEMISTRY WITH THORIUM AND CERIUM IMINOQUINONE COMPLEXES TO FORM RARE MULTIPLE BONDS

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Thorium complexes primarily exist in the thermodynamically stable (IV) oxidation state with only a few low-valent thorium(III) and thorium(II) complexes having been isolated. As a result, redox chemistry with thorium at the metal center is synthetically challenging without carefully selected ligand systems. This redox-restricted nature of thorium(IV) makes redox-active ligands (RALs) an attractive option to facilitate multi-electron redox chemistry with thorium. In this work, first, a series of thorium(IV) complexes featuring the redox-active iminoquinone ligand and its derivatives, including the iminosemiquinone and amidophenolate species, were synthesized and characterized. Rare thorium oxygen multiple bonds were then accessed by exploiting the RALs on the thorium center and using dioxygen in dry air. Other oxidation chemistry was attempted with the thorium amidophenolate complexes as well. Second, armed with the knowledge of synthesizing multiple bonds with thorium(IV) complexes, similar chemistry was explored with cerium as it is in the same group as thorium. A series of cerium(III) and cerium(IV) complexes featuring the redox-active iminoquinone ligand and its derivatives were synthesized. Oxidation chemistry was explored with the cerium amidophenolate complexes and a rare cerium oxo was isolated. Finally, with interest in expanding and addressing a gap in the literature related to the synthesis, characterization, and utility of thorium alkyls, several tetrabenzylthorium complexes were synthesized, characterized, and some reactivity was explored. A highlight of this work involved the isolation of the first crystal structure of ligand and solvent free tetrabenzylthorium since its first synthesis in 1974. Full spectroscopic and structural characterization of the complexes was performed via 1H NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, EPR spectroscopy, electronic absorption spectroscopy, and SQUID magnetometry, which all confirmed the identity and electronic structure of these complexes. 

Funding

CENTER FOR ACTINIDE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY AN ENERGY FRONTIER RESEARCH CENTER

Office of Basic Energy Sciences

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Advancing Selective, Reactive- and Non-Reactive Separations of Rare Earth Elements through Tailored Coordination Chemistry

Office of Basic Energy Sciences

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NSF CHE 1625543

History

Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy

Department

  • Chemistry

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Suzanne C. Bart

Additional Committee Member 3

Tong Ren

Additional Committee Member 4

Christina Li

Additional Committee Member 5

Shiliang Tian

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