A first systematic study upon the preparation and exploration of a series of iron 10-thiacorroles with simple halogenido (F, Cl, Br, I), pseudo-halogenido (N3, I3) and solvent-derived axial ligands (DMSO, pyridine) is reported. The compounds were prepared from the free-base octaethyl-10-thiacorrole by iron insertion and subsequent ligand-exchange reactions. The small N4 cavity of the ring-contracted porphyrinoid results in an intermediate spin (i.s., S=3/2) state as the ground state for the iron(III) ion. In most of the investigated cases, the i.s. state is found unperturbed and independent of temperature, as determined by a combination of X-ray crystallography and magnetometry with 1H NMR-, EPR-, and Mössbauer spectroscopy. Two exceptions were found. The fluorido iron(III) complex is inhomogenous in the solid and contains a thermal i.s. (S=3/2)→high spin (h.s., S=5/2) crossover fraction. On the other side, the cationic bis(pyridine) complex resides in the expected low spin (l.s., S=1/2) state. Chemically, the iron 10-thiacorroles differ from the iron porphyrins mainly by weaker axial ligand binding and by a cathodic shift of the redox potentials. These features make the 10-thiacorroles interesting ligands for future research on biomimetic catalysts and model systems for unusual heme protein active sites.
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