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Dinitrogen as Double Lewis Acid: Structure and Bonding of Triphenylphosphinazine N2(PPh3)2


  • Helpful comments by Roald Hoffmann are gratefully acknowledged. This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. C.J. thanks the Australian Research Council.


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Making Ns meet: Triphenylphosphinazine N2(PPh3)2 is a donor–acceptor complex between nitrogen in the highly excited 1Γg state and two anti-periplanar coordinated phosphine ligands (see structure). Although the dissociation into N2+2 PPh3 is calculated to be exergonic by 75 kcal mol−1, the compound is kinetically very stable as a result of the very large Lewis acidity of N2 in the excited 1Γg state.