Journal of Physical Chemistry A vol:110 issue:46 pages:12629-12635
B3LYP geometry optimizations for the [MNH2]+ complexes of the first-row transition metal cations (Sc+-Cu+) were performed. Without any exception the ground states of these unsaturated amide complexes were calculated to possess planar geometries. CASPT2 binding energies that were corrected for zero-point energies and including relativistic effects show a qualitative trend across the series that closely resembles the experimental observations. The electronic structures for the complexes of the early and middle transition metal cations (Sc+-Co+) differ from the electronic structures derived for the complexes of the late transition metal cations (Ni+ and Cu+). For the former complexes the relative higher position of the 3d orbitals above the singly occupied 2p(pi) HOMO of the uncoordinated NH2 induces an electron transfer from the 3d shell to 2p(pi). The stabilization of the 3d orbitals from the left to the right along the first-row transition metal series causes these orbitals to become situated below the HOMO of the NH2 ligand for Ni+ and Cu+, preventing a transfer from occurring in the [MNH2]+ complexes of these metal cations. Analysis of the low-lying states of the amide complexes revealed a rather unique characteristic of their electronic structures that was found across the entire series. Rather exceptionally for the whole of chemistry, pi-type interactions were calculated to be stronger than the corresponding sigma-type interactions. The origin of this extraordinary behavior can be ascribed to the low-lying sp2 lone pair orbital of the NH2 ligand with respect to the 3d level.