Facile and Reversible Formation of Iron(III)–Oxo–Cerium(IV) Adducts from Nonheme Oxoiron(IV) Complexes and Cerium(III)

Apparao Draksharapu, Waqas Rasheed, Johannes E.M.N. Klein, Lawrence Que

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20 Scopus citations


Ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN) or CeIV(NH4)2(NO3)6 is often used in artificial water oxidation and generally considered to be an outer-sphere oxidant. Herein we report the spectroscopic and crystallographic characterization of [(N4Py)FeIII-O-CeIV(OH2)(NO3)4]+ (3), a complex obtained from the reaction of [(N4Py)FeII(NCMe)]2+ with 2 equiv CAN or [(N4Py)FeIV=O]2+ (2) with CeIII(NO3)3 in MeCN. Surprisingly, the formation of 3 is reversible, the position of the equilibrium being dependent on the MeCN/water ratio of the solvent. These results suggest that the FeIV and CeIV centers have comparable reduction potentials. Moreover, the equilibrium entails a change in iron spin state, from S=1 FeIV in 2 to S=5/2 in 3, which is found to be facile despite the formal spin-forbidden nature of this process. This observation suggests that FeIV=O complexes may avail of reaction pathways involving multiple spin states having little or no barrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9091-9095
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number31
StatePublished - Jul 24 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (GM-38767 to L.Q.). XAS data were collected at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, which is supported by the U.S. DOE under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515. Use of Beamline 7-3 is supported by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (including P41GM103393). J.E.M.N.K. thanks the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship. We thank Dr. Victor J. Young, Jr. of the University of Minnesota Crystallographic Facility for his valuable advice in the crystallographic analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • cerium
  • electron transfer
  • iron
  • spin crossover
  • water oxidation


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