Table of Contents
Metal-Based Drugs
Volume 1, Issue 5-6, Pages 419-431

Redox Chemistry of Gold(I) Phosphine Thiolates: Sulfur-Based Oxidation

Department of Chemistry, University of Maine, Orono 04469-5706, ME, USA

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The redox chemistry of mononuclear and dinuclear gold(I) phosphine arylthiolate complexes was recently investigated by using electrochemical, chemical, and photochemical techniques. We now report the redox chemistry of dinuclear gold(I) phosphine complexes containing aliphatic dithiolate ligands. These molecules differ from previously studied gold(I) phosphine thiolate complexes in that they are cyclic and contain aliphatic thiolates. Cyclic voltammetry experiments of Au2(LL)(pdt) [pdt = propanedithiol; LL = 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)-ethane (dppe), 1,3-bis(diphenylphosphino)propane (dppp), 1,4-bis(diphenylphosphino)butane (dppb), 1,5-bis(diphenylphosphino)pentane (dpppn)] in 0.1 M TBAH/CH3CN or CH2Cl2 solutions at 50 to 500 mV/sec using glassy carbon or platinum electrodes, show two irreversible anodic processes at ca. +0.6 and +1.1 V (vs. SCE). Bulk electrolyses at +0.9 V and +1.4 V result in n values of 0.95 and 3.7, respectively. Chemical oxidation of Au2(dppp)(pdt) using one equivalent of Br2 (2 oxidizing equivalents) yields 1,2-dithiolane and Au2(dppp)Br2. The reactivity seen upon mild oxidation ≤ +1.0 V is consistent with formal oxidation of a thiolate ligand, followed by a fast chemical reaction that results in cleavage of a second gold-sulfur bond. Oxidation at higher potentials (≥ +1.3 V) is consistent with oxidation of gold(I) to gold(III). Structural and electrochemical differences between gold(I) aromatic and aliphatic thiolate oxidation processes are discussed.