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keywords: bioinorganic chemistry;copper;enzyme models;N,O ligands;OO activation
Dioxygen Activation of a Trinuclear CuICuICuI Cluster Capable of Mediating Facile Oxidation of Organic Substrates: Competition between O-atom Transfer and Abortive Intercomplex Reduction


The dioxygen activation of a series of CuICuICuI complexes based on the ligands (L) 3,3′-(1,4-diazepane- 1,4-diyl)bis(1-{[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl](methyl)amino}propan-2-ol) (7-Me) or 3,3′-(1,4-diazepane-1,4-diyl)bis(1-{[2-(diethylamino)ethyl](ethyl)amino}propan-2-ol) (7-Et) forms an intermediate capable of mediating facile O-atom transfer to simple organic substrates at room temperature. To elucidate the dioxygen chemistry, we have examined the reactions of 7-Me, 7-Et, and 3,3′-(1,4-diazepane-1,4-diyl)bis[1-(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)propan-2-ol] (7-N-Meppz) with dioxygen at −80, −55, and −35 °C in propionitrile (EtCN) by UV-visible, 77 K EPR, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and 7-N-Meppz and 7-Me with dioxygen at room temperature in acetonitrile (MeCN) by diode array spectrophotometry. At both −80 and −55 °C, the mixing of the starting [CuICuICuI(L)]1+ complex (1) with O2-saturated propionitrile (EtCN) led to a bright green solution consisting of two paramagnetic species: the green dioxygen adduct [CuIICuII(μ-η22-peroxo)CuII(L)]2+ (2) and the blue [CuIICuII(μ-O)CuII(L)]2+ species (3). These observations are consistent with the initial formation of [CuIICuII(μ-O)2CuIII(L)]1+ (4), followed by rapid abortion of this highly reactive species by intercluster electron transfer from a second molecule of complex 1 to give the blue species 3 and subsequent oxygenation of the partially oxidized [CuIICuICuI(L)]2+ (5) to form the green dioxygen adduct 2. Assignment of 2 to [CuIICuII(μ-η22-peroxo)CuII(L)]2+ is consistent with its reactivity with water to give H2O2 and the blue species 3, as well as its propensity to be photoreduced in the X-ray beam during X-ray absorption experiments at room temperature. In light of these observations, the development of an oxidation catalyst based on the tricopper system requires consideration of the following design criteria: 1) rapid dioxygen chemistry; 2) facile O-atom transfer from the activated cluster to substrate; and 3) a suitable reductant to rapidly regenerate complex 1 to accomplish efficient catalytic turnover.The research was conducted at the NSRRC beamline 17C1 .

S. Maji, J. C.-M. Lee, Y.-J. Lu, C.-L. Chen, M.-C. Hung, P. P.-Y. Chen, S. S.-F. Yu, and S. I. Chan

Chem.-Eur. J. 18 , 3955 (2012)