Studies in organobismuth chemistry

  • Mushtaq Ali

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Perturbations in the bismuth market resulted in Mining and Chemical Products Ltd., seeking further outlets in the market. Together with Manchem Ltd. they were anxious to evaluate the possibility of using bismuth compounds as a replacement for lead/calcium soaps in paint driers.
A range of new organobismuth compounds were synthesised of the type RBiX2 and R3BiX2 (X= halogen, OOCR, dithiocarbamate). A variety of synthetic techniques were explored, including the use of mathematical reactions, phase-transfer catalysis and microwave energy. The preparation of a range of trivalent and pentavalent organobismuth carboxylates is reported and their infra-red , 13C, lH nmr spectra. The compounds were evaluated as paint driers and in cases found to enhance paint drying to a greater degree than the standard driers, to which they were being compared. The drying times of paint films containing the organobismuth compounds are reported, together with a comparison of the drying times with the addition of bismuth tris-diethyldithiocarbamate, which may promote the cross-linking reaction that occur in paint films during the drying process.
Examples are reported to illustrate the great reductions in reaction times possible when using microwave energy. Reactions such as metallation of aromatic rings, ligand redistribution and synthesis were carried out in PTFE containers in a conventional domestic microwave oven.
An X-ray diffraction study of (phenylazophenyl-C,N')mercury(II) chloride has shown it to be dimeric via long Hg-Cl bridging interactions of 3.367A. Its crystal structure is reported, together with its 13C nmr spectra and mass spectrum.
The Lewis acidity of compounds of the type RBiX2 was investigated. The donor group being anchored to the organo group (R). The dithiocarbamates bis- (diethyldithiobarbamato)phenylbismuth(Ill) and [2-2-pyridyl)phenylbismuth(III) were synthesised, and their crystal structures, 14N, 13C nmr ar1d infra-red spectra are reported. Both compounds are pseudo-pentagonal bipyramidal in geometry, with two long Bi-S bonds and two short Bi-S bonds. The reaction of RBiBr2 (R= 2-(pyridyl) with various ligands is reported. The infra-red evidence suggesting that the coordination of extra ligands is accompanied by a reduction of the strength of the Bi-interaction.
Date of AwardJul 1990
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorWilliam R. McWhinnie (Supervisor)


  • bismuth
  • carboxylates
  • lewis acidity
  • organobismuth
  • metallation

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