Site-selective formation of an iron(IV)-oxo species at the more electron-rich iron atom of heteroleptic mu-nitrido diiron phthalocyanines

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Isci U., Faponle A. S. , Afanasiev P., Albrieux F., Briois V., Ahsen V., ...More

CHEMICAL SCIENCE, vol.6, no.8, pp.5063-5075, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1039/c5sc01811k
  • Journal Name: CHEMICAL SCIENCE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded
  • Page Numbers: pp.5063-5075


Iron(IV)-oxo species have been identified as the active intermediates in key enzymatic processes, and their catalytic properties are strongly affected by the equatorial and axial ligands bound to the metal, but details of these effects are still unresolved. In our aim to create better and more efficient oxidants of H-atom abstraction reactions, we have investigated a unique heteroleptic diiron phthalocyanine complex. We propose a novel intramolecular approach to determine the structural features that govern the catalytic activity of iron(IV)-oxo sites. Heteroleptic mu-nitrido diiron phthalocyanine complexes having an unsubstituted phthalocyanine (Pc1) and a phthalocyanine ligand substituted with electron-withdrawing alkylsulfonyl groups (PcSO2R) were prepared and characterized. A reaction with terminal oxidants gives two isomeric iron(IV)-oxo and iron(III)-hydroperoxo species with abundances dependent on the equatorial ligand. Cryospray ionization mass spectrometry (CSI-MS) characterized both hydroperoxo and diiron oxo species in the presence of H2O2. When m-CPBA was used as the oxidant, the formation of diiron oxo species (PcSO2R)FeNFe(Pc1)]=O was also evidenced. Sufficient amounts of these transient species were trapped in the quadrupole region of the mass-spectrometer and underwent a CID-MS/MS fragmentation. Analyses of fragmentation patterns indicated a preferential formation of hydroperoxo and oxo moieties at more electron-rich iron sites of both heteroleptic m-nitrido complexes. DFT calculations show that both isomers are close in energy. However, the analysis of the iron(III)-hydroperoxo bond strength reveals major differences for the (Pc1) FeN(PcSO2R)(FeOOH)-O-III system as compared to (PcSO2R) FeN(Pc1)(FeOOH)-O-III system, and, hence binding of a terminal oxidant will be preferentially on more electron-rich sides. Subsequent kinetics studies showed that these oxidants are able to even oxidize methane to formic acid efficiently.