Heterobimetallic Cooperation Mediates the Transformation of White Phosphorus into Zwitterionic catena-Phosphonium(+)diphosphenide(−) Ligands


  • We are grateful to Thermphos International BV, Vlissingen (Netherlands), for a generous loan of white phosphorus. Our thanks also go to the NMR service of “Firenze Hydrolab”, a project sponsored by Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. Dr. Andrea Raffaelli (ICCOM CNR, Pisa, Italy) is acknowledged for running the ESI-MS experiments.


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White phosphorus is sequentially activated and functionalized by stepwise reaction with cobalt and platinum metal complexes. The two zwitterionic diphenyl(alkyl)phosphonium(+)diphosphenide(−) molecules generated act as bridging side-on/end-on ligands that tether two different metal units (see picture of the complex core: C black, Co pale green, P orange, Pt green).