Reactions of trichlorogermane HGeCl3 and dichlorogallane HGaCl2 with pyridine donors

Stefan Nogai, Alexander Schriewer, Hubert Schmidbaur

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35 Scopus citations


The weak base pyridine has been found to deprotonate trichlorogermane HGeCl3 with quantitative formation of pyridinium trichlorogermanate(II), Py-H+GeCl3-, the pyramidal structure of the anion resembling that of the isoelectronic AsCl3 molecule. This course of the reaction supports the assignment of an inverse polarization (-)Ge-H(+) of the bond in HGeCl3 as compared to the (+)Si-H(-) bond in trichlorosilane HSiCl3, which is known to form a 1:2 adduct with pyridine instead. Germanium tetrachloride also undergoes simple addition reactions with pyridine leading ultimately e.g. to GeCl4L2 with L = 4-ethyl-pyridine. Dichlorogallane gives 1:1 addition compounds (HGaCl2L) with L = pyridine, 4-dimethylamino-pyridine, 4-cyano-pyridine, and 3,5-dimethyl-pyridine, the molecular structures of which have been determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Simple tetrahedral arrays of substituents around the gallium center with only minor distortions, and characteristic Ga-H stretching vibrations in the IR spectra, show that the Ga-H bond is untouched in the addition reactions. The addition of two equivalents of 3,5-dimethyl-pyridine to HGaCl2 affords the 1:2 complex which was shown to have a trigonal-bipyramidal geometry with the hydride ligand in an equatorial position. In order to provide benchmark data, the 1:1 adducts GaCl3(L) and GaH3(L) with L = 3,5-dimethyl-pyridine were also prepared and structurally characterized. Pyridinium tetrachlorogallate(III) takes up pyridine, but the extra ligand is attached to the cation via hydrogen bonding leaving the anion unchanged: [Py-H ⋯ Py]+[GaCl4]-.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3165-3171
Number of pages7
JournalDalton Transactions
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


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