The original description of the synthesis of [RuH(NO3)(CO)2(PPh3)2 appears in Inorg. Chem. (Critchlow, P. B.; Robinson, S. D. Inorg. Chem. 1978, 17, 1896). There are eight possible structures for this octahedral isomer (including two sets of enantiomers). Students are shown one of the structures and asked to draw the remaining seven. The authors analyze the spectroscopic data obtained for the compound in order to determine which isomer formed. Unfortunately, there was an error in the analysis. However, the final conclusion reached by the authors appears to be correct based on comparison to a related compound (Dell’Amico, D. B.; Calderazzo, F.; Grazzini, A.; Lubella, L.; Marchetti, F. Inorg. Chim. Acta 2002, 334, 411). Students are asked to analyze the spectroscopic data. This includes both NMR and IR. The IR analysis requires group theory to determine the number of CO bands. Based on the analysis, the students must decide which isomer formed and then provide the proper name for this compound.
Students should be able to apply their knowledge to determine the correct isomer of a ruthenium compound. This will require the students to
1) draw all of the possible isomers of an octahedral compound
2) predict the number of peaks in the 31P NMR spectrum in order to eliminate some isomers
3) apply group theory to determine the number of CO bands in the remaining isomers
4) critically analyze the analysis in the original paper
5) name the compound