Titanocene dichloride

Titanocene dichloride is the organotitanium compound with the formula (η5-C5H5)2TiCl2, commonly abbreviated as Cp2TiCl2. This metallocene is a common reagent in organometallic and organic synthesis. It exists as a bright red solid that slowly hydrolyzes in air.[1] It shows antitumour activity and was the first non-platinum complex to undergo clinical trials as a chemotherapy drug.[2]

Titanocene dichloride
Titanocene dichloride
Ball-and-stick model of titanocene dichloride
Sample of titanocene dichloride
IUPAC name
Other names
titanocene dichloride, dichlorobis(cyclopentadienyl)titanium(IV)
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.013.669 Edit this at Wikidata
RTECS number
  • XR2050000
  • InChI=1S/2C5H5.2ClH.Ti/c2*1-2-4-5-3-1;;;/h2*1-5H;2*1H;/q2*-1;;;+4/p-2 ☒N
  • InChI=1/2C5H5.2ClH.Ti/c2*1-2-4-5-3-1;;;/h2*1-5H;2*1H;/q2*-1;;;+4/p-2/r2C5H5.Cl2Ti/c2*1-2-4-5-3-1;1-3-2/h2*1-5H;/q2*-1;+2
  • [cH-]1cccc1.[cH-]1cccc1.Cl[Ti+2]Cl
Molar mass 248.96 g/mol
Appearance bright red solid
Density 1.60 g/cm3, solid
Melting point 289 °C (552 °F; 562 K)
sl. sol. with hydrolysis
Dist. tetrahedral
R-phrases (outdated) R37, R38
S-phrases (outdated) S36
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Zirconocene dichloride
Hafnocene dichloride
Vanadocene dichloride
Niobocene dichloride
Tantalocene dichloride
Molybdocene dichloride
Tungstenocene dichloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
☒N verify (what is checkY☒N ?)
Infobox references


Cp2TiCl2 adopts a distorted tetrahedral geometry (counting Cp as a monodentate ligand). The Ti-Cl distance is 2.37 Å and the Cl-Ti-Cl angle is 95°.[3]


The standard preparations of Cp2TiCl2 start with titanium tetrachloride. The original synthesis by Wilkinson and Birmingham, using sodium cyclopentadienide,[4] is still commonly used:

2 NaC5H5 + TiCl4 → (C5H5)2TiCl2 + 2 NaCl

It can also be prepared by using freshly distilled cyclopentadiene rather than its sodium derivative:[5]

2 C5H6 + TiCl4 → (C5H5)2TiCl2 + 2 HCl


Halide replacement reactionsEdit

Cp2TiCl2 is a generally useful reagent that effectively behaves as a source of Cp2Ti2+. A large range of nucleophiles will displace chloride. With NaSH and with polysulfide salts, one obtains the sulfido derivatives Cp2Ti(SH)2 and Cp2TiS5.[6]

The Petasis reagent, Cp2Ti(CH3)2, is prepared from the action of methylmagnesium chloride[7] or methyllithium[8] on Cp2TiCl2. This reagent is useful for the conversion of esters into vinyl ethers.

The Tebbe reagent Cp2TiCl(CH2)Al(CH3)2, arises by the action of 2 equivalents Al(CH3)3 on Cp2TiCl2.[9][10]

Reactions affecting Cp ligandsEdit

One Cp ligand can be removed from Cp2TiCl2 to give tetrahedral CpTiCl3. This conversion can be effected with TiCl4 or by reaction with SOCl2.[11]

Titanocene itself, TiCp2, is so highly reactive that it rearranges into a TiIII hydride dimer and has been the subject of much investigation.[12][13] This dimer can be trapped by conducting the reduction of titanocene dichloride in the presence of ligands; in the presence of benzene, a fulvalene complex, μ(η55-fulvalene)-di-(μ-hydrido)-bis(η5-cyclopentadienyltitanium), can be prepared and the resulting solvate structurally characterised by X-ray crystallography.[14] The same compound had been reported earlier by a lithium aluminium hydride reduction[15] and sodium amalgam reduction[16] of titanocene dichloride, and studied by 1H NMR[17] prior to its definitive characterisation.[12][13]

"Titanocene" is not Ti(C5H5)2, but rather this isomer with a fulvalene dihydride structure.[13][14]


Reduction with zinc gives the dimer of bis(cyclopentadienyl)titanium(III) chloride in a solvent-mediated chemical equilibrium:[18][19]

Cp2TiCl2 is a precursor to TiII derivatives. Reductions have been investigated using Grignard reagent and alkyl lithium compounds. More conveniently handled reductants include Mg, Al, or Zn. The following syntheses demonstrate some of the compounds that can be generated by reduction of titanocene dichloride in the presence of π acceptor ligands:[20]

Cp2TiCl2 + 2 CO + Mg → Cp2Ti(CO)2 + MgCl2
Cp2TiCl2 + 2 PR3 + Mg → Cp2Ti(PR3)2 + MgCl2

Alkyne derivatives of titanocene have the formula (C5H5)2Ti(C2R2) and the corresponding benzyne complexes are known.[21] One family of derivatives are the titanocyclopentadienes.[22] Rosenthal's reagent, Cp2TiMe32-SiC≡CSiMe3), can be prepared by this method. Two structures are shown, A and B, which are both resonance contributors to the actual structure of Rosenthal's reagent.[23]

Titanocene equivalents react with alkenyl alkynes followed by carbonylation and hydrolysis to form bicyclic cyclopentadienones, related to the Pauson–Khand reaction).[24] A similar reaction is the reductive cyclization of enones to form the corresponding alcohol in a stereoselective manner.[25]

Reduction of titanocene dichloride in the presence of conjugated dienes such as 1,3-butadiene gives η3-allyltitanium complexes.[26] Related reactions occur with diynes. Furthermore, titanocene can catalyze C–C bond metathesis to form asymmetric diynes.[22]

Derivatives of (C5Me5)2TiCl2Edit

Many analogues of Cp2TiCl2 are known. Prominent examples are the ring-methylated derivatives (C5H4Me)2TiCl2 and (C5Me5)2TiCl2. The ethylene complex (C5Me5)2Ti(C2H4) can be synthesised by Na reduction of (C5Me5)2TiCl2 in the presence of ethylene. The Cp compound has not been prepared. This pentamethylcyclopentadienyl (Cp*) species undergoes many reactions such as cycloadditions of alkynes.[21]

Medicinal researchEdit

Titanocene dichloride was investigated as an anticancer drug. In fact, it was both the first non-platinum coordination complex and the first metallocene to undergo a clinical trial.[2][27]


  1. ^ Budaver, S., ed. (1989). The Merck Index (11th ed.). Merck & Co., Inc.
  2. ^ a b Roat-Malone, R. M. (2007). Bioinorganic Chemistry: A Short Course (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-0-471-76113-6.
  3. ^ Clearfield, Abraham; Warner, David Keith; Saldarriaga Molina, Carlos Hermán; Ropal, Ramanathan; Bernal, Ivan; et al. (1975). "Structural Studies of (π-C5H5)2MX2 Complexes and their Derivatives. The Structure of Bis(π-cyclopentadienyl)titanium Dichloride". Can. J. Chem. 53 (11): 1621–1629. doi:10.1139/v75-228.
  4. ^ Wilkinson, G.; Birmingham, J.G. (1954). "Bis-cyclopentadienyl Compounds of Ti, Zr, V, Nb and Ta". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 76 (17): 4281–4284. doi:10.1021/ja01646a008.
  5. ^ Birmingham, J. M. (1965). "Synthesis of Cyclopentadienyl Metal Compounds". Adv. Organometal. Chem. Advances in Organometallic Chemistry. 2: 365–413. doi:10.1016/S0065-3055(08)60082-9. ISBN 9780120311026.
  6. ^ Shaver, Alan; McCall, James M.; Marmolejo, Gabriela (1990). "Cyclometallapolysulfanes (And Selanes) of Bis(η5-Cyclopentadienyl) Titanium(IV), Zirconium(IV), Molybdenum(IV), and Tungsten(IV)". Cyclometallapolysulfanes (and Selanes) of Bis(η5-Cyclopentadienyl) Titanium(IV), Zirconium(IV), Molybdenum(IV), and Tungsten(IV). Inorganic Syntheses. 27. pp. 59–65. doi:10.1002/9780470132586.ch11. ISBN 9780470132586.
  7. ^ Payack, J. F.; Hughes, D. L.; Cai, D.; Cottrell, I. F.; Verhoeven, T. R. (2002). "Dimethyltitanocene". Organic Syntheses. 79: 19.
  8. ^ Claus, K.; Bestian, H. (1962). "Über die Einwirkung von Wasserstoff auf einige metallorganische Verbindungen und Komplexe". Justus Liebigs Ann. Chem. 654: 8–19. doi:10.1002/jlac.19626540103.
  9. ^ Herrmann, W.A. (1982). "The Methylene Bridge". Adv. Organomet. Chem. Advances in Organometallic Chemistry. 20: 159–263. doi:10.1016/s0065-3055(08)60522-5. ISBN 9780120311200.
  10. ^ Straus, D. A. (2000). "μ-Chlorobis(cyclopentadienyl)(dimethylaluminium)-μ-methylenetitanium". Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. London: John Wiley.
  11. ^ Chandra, K.; Sharma, R. K.; Kumar, N.; Garg, B. S. (1980). "Preparation of η5-Cyclopentadienyltitanium Trichloride and η5-Methylcyclopentadienyltitanium Trichloride". Chem. Ind. - London. 44: 288–289.
  12. ^ a b Wailes, P. C.; Coutts, R. S. P.; Weigold, H. (1974). "Titanocene". Organometallic Chemistry of Titanium, Zirconium, and Hafnium. Organometallic Chemistry. Academic Press. pp. 229–237. ISBN 9780323156479.
  13. ^ a b c Mehrotra, R. C.; Singh, A. (2000). "4.3.6 η5-Cyclopentadienyl d-Block Metal Complexes". Organometallic Chemistry: A Unified Approach (2nd ed.). New Delhi: New Age International Publishers. pp. 243–268. ISBN 9788122412581.
  14. ^ a b Troyanov, Sergei I.; Antropiusová, Helena; Mach, Karel (1992). "Direct proof of the molecular structure of dimeric titanocene; The X-ray structure of μ(η55-fulvalene)-di-(μ-hydrido)-bis(η5-cyclopentadienyltitanium)·1.5 benzene". J. Organomet. Chem. 427 (1): 49–55. doi:10.1016/0022-328X(92)83204-U.
  15. ^ Antropiusová, Helena; Dosedlová, Alena; Hanuš, Vladimir; Karel, Mach (1981). "Preparation of μ-(η55-Fulvalene)-di-μ-hydrido-bis(η5-cyclopentadienyltitanium) by the reduction of Cp2TiCl2 with LiAlH4 in aromatic solvents". Transition Met. Chem. 6 (2): 90–93. doi:10.1007/BF00626113. S2CID 101189483.
  16. ^ Cuenca, Tomas; Herrmann, Wolfgang A.; Ashworth, Terence V. (1986). "Chemistry of oxophilic transition metals. 2. Novel derivatives of titanocene and zirconocene". Organometallics. 5 (12): 2514–2517. doi:10.1021/om00143a019.
  17. ^ Lemenovskii, D. A.; Urazowski, I. F.; Grishin, Yu K.; Roznyatovsky, V. A. (1985). "1H NMR Spectra and electronic structure of binuclear niobocene and titanocene containing fulvalene ligands". J. Organomet. Chem. 290 (3): 301–305. doi:10.1016/0022-328X(85)87293-4.
  18. ^ Manzer, L. E.; Mintz, E. A.; Marks, T. J. (1982). Cyclopentadienyl Complexes of Titanium(III) and Vanadium(III). Inorg. Synth. Inorganic Syntheses. 21. pp. 84–86. doi:10.1002/9780470132524.ch18. ISBN 9780470132524.
  19. ^ Nugent, William A.; RajanBabu, T. V. (1988). "Transition-metal-centered radicals in organic synthesis. Titanium(III)-induced cyclization of epoxy olefins". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 110 (25): 8561–8562. doi:10.1021/ja00233a051.
  20. ^ Kuester, Erik (2002). "Bis(η5-2,4-cyclopentadienyl)bis(trimethylphosphine)titanium". Bis(5-2,4-cyclopentadienyl)bis(trimethylphosphine)titanium. Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. John Wiley. doi:10.1002/047084289X.rn00022. ISBN 0471936235.
  21. ^ a b Buchwald, S. L.; Nielsen, R. B. (1988). "Group 4 Metal Complexes of Benzynes, Cycloalkynes, Acyclic Alkynes, and Alkenes". Chem. Rev. 88 (7): 1047–1058. doi:10.1021/cr00089a004.
  22. ^ a b Rosenthal, Uwe; Pellny, Paul-Michael; Kirchbauer, Frank G.; Burlakov, Vladimir V. (2000). "What Do Titano- and Zirconocenes Do with Diynes and Polyynes?". Chem. Rev. 33 (2): 119–129. doi:10.1021/ar9900109. PMID 10673320.
  23. ^ Rosenthal, Uwe; Burlakov, Vladimir V.; Arndt, Perdita; Baumann, Wolfgang; Spannenberg, Anke (2003). "The Titanocene Complex of Bis(trimethylsilyl)acetylene: Synthesis, Structure, and Chemistry". Organometallics. 22 (5): 884–900. doi:10.1021/om0208570.
  24. ^ Hicks, F. A.; et al. (1999). "Scope of the Intramolecular Titanocene-Catalyzed Pauson-Khand Type Reaction". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 121 (25): 5881–5898. doi:10.1021/ja990682u.
  25. ^ Kablaoui, N. M.; Buchwald, S. L. (1998). "Development of a Method for the Reductive Cyclization of Enones by a Titanium Catalyst". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 118 (13): 3182–3191. doi:10.1021/ja954192n.
  26. ^ Sato, F.; Urabe, Hirokazu; Okamoto, Sentaro (2000). "Synthesis of Organotitanium Complexes from Alkenes and Alkynes and Their Synthetic Applications". Chem. Rev. 100 (8): 2835–2886. doi:10.1021/cr990277l. PMID 11749307.
  27. ^ Cini, M.; Bradshaw, T. D.; Woodward, S. (2017). "Using titanium complexes to defeat cancer: the view from the shoulders of Titans" (PDF). Chem. Soc. Rev. 46 (4): 1040–1051. doi:10.1039/C6CS00860G. PMID 28124046.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)

Further readingEdit