Cadmium(II) complex formation with selenourea and thiourea in solution: an XAS and 113Cd NMR study

Inorg Chem. 2012 Oct 15;51(20):10619-30. doi: 10.1021/ic300852t. Epub 2012 Sep 27.


The complexes formed in methanol solutions of Cd(CF(3)SO(3))(2) with selenourea (SeU) or thiourea (TU), for thiourea also in aqueous solution, were studied by combining (113)Cd NMR and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. At low temperature (~200 K), distinct (113)Cd NMR signals were observed, corresponding to CdL(n)(2+) species (n = 0-4, L = TU or SeU) in slow ligand exchange. Peak integrals were used to obtain the speciation in the methanol solutions, allowing stability constants to be estimated. For cadmium(II) complexes with thione (C═S) or selone (C═Se) groups coordinated in Cd(S/Se)O(5) or Cd(S/Se)(2)O(4) (O from MeOH or CF(3)SO(3)(-)) environments, the (113)Cd chemical shifts were quite similar, within 93-97 ppm and 189-193 ppm, respectively. However, the difference in the chemical shift for the Cd(SeU)(4)(2+) (578 pm) and Cd(TU)(4)(2+) (526 ppm) species, with CdSe(4) and CdS(4) coordination, respectively, shows less chemical shielding for the coordinated Se atoms than for S, in contrast to the common trend with increasing shielding in the following order: O > N > Se > S. In solutions dominated by mono- and tetra-thiourea/selenourea complexes, their coordination and bond distances could be evaluated by Cd K-edge extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy. At ~200 K and high excess of thiourea, a minor amount (up to ~30%) of [Cd(TU)(5-6)](2+) species was detected by an upfield shift of the (113)Cd NMR signal (up to 423 ppm) and an amplitude reduction of the EXAFS oscillation. The amount was estimated by fitting linear combinations of simulated EXAFS spectra for [Cd(TU)(4)](2+) and [Cd(TU)(6)](2+) complexes. At room temperature, [Cd(TU)(4)](2+) was the highest complex formed, also in aqueous solution. Cd L(3)-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra of cadmium(II) thiourea solutions in methanol were used to follow changes in the CdS(x)O(y) coordination. The correlations found from the current and previous studies between (113)Cd NMR chemical shifts and different Cd(II) coordination environments are generally useful for evaluating cadmium coordination to thione-containing or Se-donor ligands in biochemical systems or for monitoring speciation in solution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cadmium / chemistry*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Organometallic Compounds / chemistry*
  • Organoselenium Compounds / chemistry*
  • Solutions
  • Thiourea / chemistry*
  • Urea / analogs & derivatives*
  • Urea / chemistry
  • X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy*


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Organoselenium Compounds
  • Solutions
  • Cadmium
  • selenourea
  • Urea
  • Thiourea