Reactivity of Dioxygen-Copper Systems

Elizabeth A. Lewis, William B Tolman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1039 Scopus citations


The mechanism by which copper complexes bind and activate dioxygen was analyzed. The kinetic and thermodynamic information was obtained through cryogenic stopped-flow studies of the oxygenation of Cu(I) compounds. It was shown that protonation or acylation of peroxo copper species appears to enhance their O-atom transfer reactivity. It was concluded that O-O homolysis or heterolysis in CuOOH(R) complexes is energetically disfavored because of thermodynamic instability of the resulting Cu(III/IV)-oxo species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1076
Number of pages30
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

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    Lewis, E. A., & Tolman, W. B. (2004). Reactivity of Dioxygen-Copper Systems. Chemical Reviews, 104(2), 1047-1076.