The reaction of Group 12 metal dihalides MX(2) with the P,N-ligands [Fe(C(5)H(4)-PPh(2))(C(5)H(4)-2-py)] (1) (2-py = pyrid-2-yl), [Fe(C(5)H(4)-PPh(2))(C(5)H(4)-CH(2)-2-py)] (2) and [Fe(C(5)H(4)-PPh(2))(C(5)H(4)-3-py)] (3) (3-py = pyrid-3-yl) was investigated. For a 1 : 1 molar ratio of MX(2) and the respective ligand, three structure types were found in the solid state, viz. chelate, cyclic dimer and chain-like coordination polymer. The M(II) coordination environment is distorted pseudo-tetrahedral in each case. The P-M-N angle is much larger in the chelates (≥119°) than in the ligand-bridged structures (≤109°). 1 prefers the formation of chelates [MX(2)(1-κ(2)N,P)]. 3 forms coordination polymers [MX(2)(μ-3)](n). With the more flexible 2 all three structure types can occur. Dynamic coordination equilibria were observed in solution for the molecular complexes obtained with 1 and 2. NMR data indicate that the N- and P-donor sites interact most strongly with Zn(II) and Hg(II), respectively. While the formation of bis(phosphine)mercury complexes (soft-soft) was easily achieved, no bis(pyridine)zinc complex (borderline-borderline) could be obtained, which is surprising in view of the HSAB principle.
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