Cis- and trans-binding influences in [NUO·(N2)n]

J Chem Phys. 2022 Aug 7;157(5):054301. doi: 10.1063/5.0098068.


Uranium nitride-oxide cations [NUO]+ and their complexes with equatorial N2 ligands, [NUO·(N2)n]+ (n = 1-7), were synthesized in the gas phase. Mass-selected infrared photodissociation spectroscopy and quantum chemical calculations confirm [NUO·(N2)5]+ to be a sterically fully coordinated cation, with electronic singlet ground state of 1A1, linear [NUO]+ core, and C5v structure. The presence of short N-U bond distances and high stretching modes, with slightly elongated U-O bond distances and lowered stretching modes, is rationalized by attributing them to cooperative covalent and dative [ǀN≡U≡Oǀ]+ triple bonds. The mutual trans-interaction through flexible electronic U-5f6d7sp valence shell and the linearly increasing perturbation with increase in the number of equatorial dative N2 ligands has also been explained, highlighting the bonding characteristics and distinct features of uranium chemistry.