Characterization of Cr-Hydrocarbyl Species via Pulse EPR in the Study of Ethylene Tetramerization Catalysis

Nathanael A. Hirscher, Charles H. Arnett, Paul H. Oyala, Theodor Agapie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The characterization of complexes involved in chromium catalysis is challenging due to the paramagnetism of Cr in its common oxidation states. Here, we demonstrate the utility of pulse electron paramagnetic resonance (pulse EPR) techniques in assigning structural features of Cr organometallic complexes relevant to ethylene tetramerization. An S = 3/2, Cr(III) bisaryl-methyl ethylene tetramerization precatalyst (1) has been selected for characterization by CW and pulse EPR spectroscopies. Using an isotopically labeled Cr-CD3 complex (1-d3), the methyl ligand was confirmed to remain bound to Cr in solution by detection of 2H couplings in X-band hyperfine sublevel correlation (HYSCORE) spectroscopy. Protonolysis of 1-d3 led to an S = 3/2, Cr(III) product (2-d3) that maintained spectroscopic features in HYSCORE for the CD3 group, indicative of retention of the Cr-alkyl bond. Following protonolysis of 1-h3 and subsequent reaction with ethylene, an S = 1/2 Cr(I) species with an ethylene-derived ligand was generated, supporting a mechanism involving this Cr oxidation state. Additionally, the pulse EPR characterization of a Cr(I) allyl-diene complex was performed for comparison. This is the first direct observation of hydrocarbyl ligands on Cr using pulse EPR methods. The methods described here are broadly applicable to Cr, first-row transition metals and other open-shell organometallic catalytic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4420-4429
Number of pages10
Issue number24
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of Cr-Hydrocarbyl Species via Pulse EPR in the Study of Ethylene Tetramerization Catalysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this