RuCp2 (ruthenocene) and RuCpPy (cyclopentadienyl
pyrrolyl ruthenium) complexes are used in ruthenium
(Ru) atomic layer deposition (ALD) but exhibit a markedly different reactivity with respect to the substrate and co-reactant. In search of an explanation, we report here the results of a comparative study of the heterolytic and homolytic dissociation enthalpy of these two ruthenium complexes, making use of either density functional theory (DFT) or multiconfigurational perturbation theory (CASPT2).
While both methods predict distinctly different absolute dissociation enthalpies, they agree on the relative values between both molecules. A reduced heterolytic dissociation enthalpy is obtained for RuCpPy compared to RuCp2, although the difference obtained from CASPT2 (19.9 kcal/mol) is slightly larger than the one obtained with any of the DFT functionals (around 17 kcal/mol). Both methods also agree on the more pronounced stability of the Cp- ligand in RuCpPy than in RuCp2 (by around 9 kcal/mol with DFT and by 6 kcal/mol with CASPT2).