Electrochemically generated copper(II), tin(II), bismuth(III) and zinc(II) complexes in dichloromethane containing tetrabutylammonium perchlorate, tetrafluoroborate or hexafluorophosphate as the electrolyte

Alan M. Bond, Andrzej Bobrowski, Fritz Scholz

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Oxidation of M(amalgam) (M = Cu, Sn, Bi or Zn) electrodes under direct current and differential pulse polarographic or cyclic voltammetric conditions in dichloromethane containing 0.2 mol dm-3 [NBu4][PF 6], [NBu4][BF4] or [NBu4][ClO 4] as an electrolyte generates weakly solvated and therefore very reactive Cu2+, Sn2+, Bi3+ and Zn2+ cations. Since the kinetics of nucleation and precipitation of the usually formed insoluble salts is slow on the voltammetric time-scale, data on the formation of complexes with the electrolyte anions can be obtained. A general order of stability, [PF6]- ≪ [BF4] - < [ClO4]-, was found for all metals. However, since the Zn (amalgam) → Zn2+ oxidation process is completely irreversible, quantitative stability constant data on the complexes formed with Zn2+ could not be obtained. From these and other data it is concluded that [PF6]- generally seems to represent an example of a very weak ligand for metal cations in relatively non-co-ordinating solvent such as dichloromethane. Mechanical transfer of small amounts of metallic Sn and Pb onto a platinum electrode and use of the method of abrasive stripping voltammetry also enabled stability constant data to be obtained. Data for [BF4]- complexes with Sn2+ and Pb 2+ thus obtained are in excellent agreement with those derived from the use of amalgam electrodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-416
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1991

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