Understanding the electronic structure of ruthenium

Ruthenium 4d-to-2p X-ray emission spectroscopy

Natalia Levin, Sergey Peredkov, and Serena DeBeer at the X-ray beamline

Although ruthenium is a relatively rare element, it is essential for diverse catalytic processes. In order to design more efficient catalysts, a detailed understanding of the electronic structure of ruthenium and its coordination environment is needed. In this regard, as element selective probes of a metal of interest, X-ray spectroscopic techniques are very attractive. However, techniques usually employed for Ru have limitations.

In a recent publication in the journal Inorganic Chemistry, MPI scientists systematically explored Ru 4d-to-2p X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) for the first time. In combination with simple theoretical calculations, this technique provides a highly detailed insight into the electronic structure of ruthenium-based molecules. Particularly, 4d-to-2p XES allows them to simultaneously access ligand and metal contributions to bonding. Therefore, this novel tool is very promising for the study not only of ruthenium species but also of a wide range of other 4d transition metal compounds. The researchers expect the 4d-to-2p XES to pave the path for further catalyst optimization.

This development was possible thanks to the design and starting up of the new beamline PINK, and dedicated new XES spectrometer, designed by Dr. Sergey Peredkov and team, working at the BESSY II synchrotron ring in Berlin and part of the Department of Inorganic Spectroscopy led by Prof. Dr. Serena DeBeer.

Original Publication: Levin, N., Peredkov, S., Weyhermüller, T., Rüdiger, O., Pereira, N.B., Grötzsch, D., Kalinko, A., DeBeer, S. Ruthenium 4d-to-2p X-ray Emission Spectroscopy: A Simultaneous Probe of the Metal and the Bound Ligands. Inorganic Chemistry. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c00663