Testing the Polynuclear Hypothesis: Multielectron Reduction of Small Molecules by Triiron Reaction Sites
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CitationPowers, Tamara M., and Theodore A. Betley. 2013. Testing the Polynuclear Hypothesis: Multielectron Reduction of Small Molecules by Triiron Reaction Sites. Journal of the American Chemical Society 135, no. 33: 12289–12296.
AbstractHigh-spin trinuclear iron complex (tbsL)Fe3(thf) ([tbsL]6– = [1,3,5-C6H9(NC6H4-o-NSitBuMe2)3]6–) (S = 6) facilitates 2 and 4e– reduction of NxHy type substrates to yield imido and nitrido products. Reaction of hydrazine or phenylhydrazine with (tbsL)Fe3(thf) yields triiron μ3-imido cluster (tbsL)Fe3(μ3-NH) and ammonia or aniline, respectively. (tbsL)Fe3(μ3-NH) has a similar zero-field 57Fe Mössbauer spectrum compared to previously reported [(tbsL)Fe3(μ3-N)]NBu4, and can be directly synthesized by protonation of the anionic triiron nitrido with lutidinium tetraphenylborate. Deprotonation of the triiron parent imido (tbsL)Fe3(μ3-NH) with lithium bis(trimethylsilyl)amide results in regeneration of the triiron nitrido complex capped with a thf-solvated Li cation [(tbsL)Fe3(μ3-N)]Li(thf)3. The lithium capped nitrido, structurally similar to the pseudo C3-symmetric triiron nitride with a tetrabutylammonium countercation, is rigorously C3-symmetric featuring intracore distances of Fe–Fe 2.4802(5) Å, Fe–N(nitride) 1.877(2) Å, and N(nitride)–Li 1.990(6) Å. A similar 2e– reduction of 1,2-diphenylhydrazine by (tbsL)Fe3(thf) affords (tbsL)Fe3(μ3-NPh) and aniline. The solid state structure of (tbsL)Fe3(μ3-NPh) is similar to the series of μ3-nitrido and -imido triiron complexes synthesized in this work with average Fe–Nimido and Fe–Fe bond lengths of 1.941(6) and 2.530(1) Å, respectively. Reductive N═N bond cleavage of azobenzene is also achieved in the presence of (tbsL)Fe3(thf) to yield triiron bis-imido complex (tbsL)Fe3(μ3-NPh)(μ2-NPh), which has been structurally characterized. Ligand redox participation has been ruled out, and therefore, charge balance indicates that the bis-imido cluster has undergone a 4e– metal based oxidation resulting in an (FeIV)(FeIII)2 formulation. Cyclic voltammograms of the series of triiron clusters presented herein demonstrate that oxidation states up to (FeIV)(FeIII)2 (in the case of [(tbsL)Fe3(μ3-N)]NBu4) are electrochemically accessible. These results highlight the efficacy of high-spin, polynuclear reaction sites to cooperatively mediate small molecule activation.
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