The mechanism of stereospecific C-H oxidation by Fe(Pytacn) complexes: Bioinspired non-heme iron catalysts containing cis-labile exchangeable sites

Irene Prat, Anna Company, Verònica Postils, Xavi Ribas, Lawrence Que, Josep M. Luis, Miquel Costas

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68 Scopus citations

Abstract

A detailed mechanistic study of the hydroxylation of alkane C-H bonds using H2O2 by a family of mononuclear non heme iron catalysts with the formula [FeII(CF3SO3)2(L)] is described, in which L is a tetradentate ligand containing a triazacyclononane tripod and a pyridine ring bearing different substituents at the α and γ positions, which tune the electronic or steric properties of the corresponding iron complexes. Two inequivalent cis-labile exchangeable sites, occupied by triflate ions, complete the octahedral iron coordination sphere. The C-H hydroxylation mediated by this family of complexes takes place with retention of configuration. Oxygen atoms from water are incorporated into hydroxylated products and the extent of this incorporation depends in a systematic manner on the nature of the catalyst, and the substrate. Mechanistic probes and isotopic analyses, in combination with detailed density functional theory (DFT) calculations, provide strong evidence that C-H hydroxylation is performed by highly electrophilic [FeV(O)(OH)L] species through a concerted asynchronous mechanism, involving homolytic breakage of the C-H bond, followed by rebound of the hydroxyl ligand. The [FeV(O)(OH)L] species can exist in two tautomeric forms, differing in the position of oxo and hydroxide ligands. Isotopic-labeling analysis shows that the relative reactivities of the two tautomeric forms are sensitively affected by the α substituent of the pyridine, and this reactivity behavior is rationalized by computational methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6724-6738
Number of pages15
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume19
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2013

Keywords

  • bioinorganic chemistry
  • density functional calculations
  • non-heme iron
  • oxidation
  • reaction mechanisms

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