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Dichlorotetrakis(dimethyl sulfoxide) ruthenium (II)
RuCl2-dmso4.PNG Dichlorotetrakis(dimethyl-sulfoxide)-ruthenium(II)-3D-balls.png
CAS number 11070-19-2
Molecular formula C8H24Cl2O4RuS4
Molar mass 484.51 g/mol
Appearance Various shades of yellow crystals
Solubility in water water miscible
Solubility nitromethane, chloroform, dichloromethane
octahedral coordinate
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Dichlorotetrakis(dimethyl sulfoxide) ruthenium(II) describes coordination compounds with the formula RuCl2(dmso)4, where DMSO is dimethylsulfoxide. These complexes illustrate linkage isomerism for the ligand DMSO.[1] In these complexes, two chloride anions and four molecules of dmso are coordinated to a central ruthenium (II) core.


RuCl2(dmso)4 has been isolated as two isomers, but each is an octahedral coordination compound. The ruthenium adopts a +2 oxidation state, and the compounds follows the 18 electron rule.

The two isomers are cis, fac-RuCl2(dmso-S)3(dmso-O) and trans, mer-RuCl2(dmso-S)4. The trans, mer configuration is kinetically favored, but thermodynamically unstable with respect to the cis isomer. Cis and trans refer to the relative positions of the chloride ligands. The fac/mer describes the binding of the dmso ligands. The notation dmso-S/O refers to the atom through which the dmso molecule is coordinated to the ruthenium center. Thus, dmso-S means that the dmso ligand coordinates through the sulfur atom, whereas dmso-O coordinates through the oxygen atom.

cis,fac isomer
trans,mer isomer


The complexes were first prepared by heating DMSO solutions of ruthenium trichloride under hydrogen atmosphere.[2] An alternative procedure has been developed which avoids hydrogen gas.[3] Ruthenium-dmso complexes inhibit or kill tumors. Trans-RuCl4(dmso-S)L are being tested for their [4]


These and related dmso-containing ruthenium compounds have attracted attention due to their cancer therapeutic properties.[4]


  1. ^ Enzo Alessio (2004). "Synthesis and reactivity of Ru-, Os-, Rh-, and Ir-halide-sulfoxide compounds". Chem. Rev. 104 (9): 4203–4242. doi:10.1021/cr0307291. 
  2. ^ B. R. James, E. Ochiai, and G.I. Rempel (1971). "Ruthenium (II) halide dimethylsulphoxide complexes from hydrogenation reactions". Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry Letters 7 (8): 781. doi:10.1016/0020-1650(71)80091-0. 
  3. ^ I. Bratsos and E. Alessio (2010). "Ruthenium(II) chloro complexes of dimethylsulfoxide". Inorganic Syntheses 35: 148–152. 
  4. ^ a b Bratsos, I; Serli, B; Zangranko, E; Katsaros, N; Alessio, E. (2007). "Replacement of chlorides with dicarboxylate ligands in anticancer active Ru(II)-DMSO compounds: A new strategy that might lead to improved activity". Inorg. Chem. 46 (3): 975–992. doi:10.1021/ic0613964. PMID 17257042.