Direct Spectroscopic Detection of Key Intermediates and the Turnover Process in Catalytic H2 Formation by a Biomimetic Diiron Catalyst

Shihuai Wang, Sonja Pullen, Valentin Weippert, Tianfei Liu, Sascha Ott, Reiner Lomoth, Leif Hammarström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


[FeFe(Cl2-bdt)(CO)6] (1; Cl2-bdt=3,6-dichlorobenzene-1,2-dithiolate), inspired by the active site of FeFe-hydrogenase, shows a chemically reversible 2 e reduction at −1.20 V versus the ferrocene/ferrocenium couple. The rigid and aromatic bdt bridging ligand lowers the reduction potential and stabilizes the reduced forms, compared with analogous complexes with aliphatic dithiolates; thus allowing details of the catalytic process to be characterized. Herein, time-resolved IR spectroscopy is used to provide kinetic and structural information on key catalytic intermediates. This includes the doubly reduced, protonated complex 1H, which has not been previously identified experimentally. In addition, the first direct spectroscopic observation of the turnover process for a molecular H2 evolving catalyst is reported, allowing for straightforward determination of the turnover frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11135-11140
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - Aug 22 2019


  • IR spectroscopy
  • biomimetic catalysts
  • hydrogen
  • iron
  • reaction intermediates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry

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