Oxoiron(IV) units are often implicated as intermediates in the catalytic cycles of non-heme iron oxygenases and oxidases. The most reactive synthetic analogues of these intermediates are supported by tetradentate tripodal ligands with N-methylbenzimidazole or quinoline donors, but their instability precludes structural characterization. Herein we report crystal structures of two [FeIV(O)(L)]2+ complexes supported by pentadentate ligands incorporating these heterocycles, which show longer average Fe–N distances than the complex with only pyridine donors. These longer distances correlate linearly with log k2′ values for O- and H-atom transfer rates, suggesting that weakening the ligand field increases the electrophilicity of the Fe=O center. The sterically bulkier quinoline donors are also found to tilt the Fe=O unit away from a linear N-Fe=O arrangement by 10°.
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- hydrogen atom transfer (HAT)
- non-heme iron complexes
- oxoiron(IV) complexes
- two-state reactivity