A mononuclear copper(II) superoxo species has been invoked as the key reactive intermediate in aliphatic substrate hydroxylation by copper monooxygenases such as peptidylglycine α-hydroxylating monooxygenase (PHM), dopamine β-monooxygenase (DβM), and tyramine β-monooxygenase (TβM). We have recently developed a mononuclear copper(II) end-on superoxo complex using a N-[2-(2-pyridyl)ethyl]-1,5- diazacyclooctane tridentate ligand, the structure of which is similar to the four-coordinate distorted tetrahedral geometry of the copper-dioxygen adduct found in the oxy-form of PHM (Prigge, S. T.; Eipper, B. A.; Mains, R. E.; Amzel, L. M. Science2004, 304, 864-867). In this study, structures and physicochemical properties as well as reactivity of the copper(I) and copper(II) complexes supported by a series of tridentate ligands having the same N-[2-(2-pyridyl) ethyl]-1,5-diazacyclooctane framework have been examined in detail to shed light on the chemistry dictated in the active sites of mononuclear copper monooxygenases. The ligand exhibits unique feature to stabilize the copper(I) complexes in a T-shape geometry and the copper(II) complexes in a distorted tetrahedral geometry. Low temperature oxygenation of the copper(I) complexes generated the mononuclear copper(II) end-on superoxo complexes, the structure and spin state of which have been further characterized by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Detailed kinetic analysis on the O2-adduct formation reaction gave the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters providing mechanistic insights into the association and dissociation processes of O 2 to the copper complexes. The copper(II) end-on superoxo complex thus generated gradually decomposed to induce aliphatic ligand hydroxylation. Kinetic and DFT studies on the decomposition reaction have suggested that C-H bond abstraction occurs unimolecularly from the superoxo complex with subsequent rebound of the copper hydroperoxo species to generate the oxygenated product. The present results have indicated that a superoxo species having a four-coordinate distorted tetrahedral geometry could be reactive enough to induce the direct C-H bond activation of aliphatic substrates in the enzymatic systems.