Hydrogen-Atom Transfer Oxidation with H2O2 Catalyzed by [FeII(1,2-bis(2,2′-bipyridyl-6-yl)ethane(H2O)2]2+: Likely Involvement of a (μ-Hydroxo)(μ-1,2-peroxo)diiron(III) Intermediate

Alexander M. Khenkin, Madhu Vedichi, Linda J.W. Shimon, Matthew A. Cranswick, Johannes E.M.N. Klein, Lawrence Que, Ronny Neumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The iron(II) triflate complex (1) of 1,2-bis(2,2′-bipyridyl-6-yl)ethane, with two bipyridine moieties connected by an ethane bridge, was prepared. Addition of aqueous 30 % H2O2 to an acetonitrile solution of 1 yielded 2, a green compound with λmax=710 nm. Moessbauer measurements on 2 showed a doublet with an isomer shift (δ) of 0.35 mm/s and a quadrupole splitting (ΔEQ) of 0.86 mm/s, indicative of an antiferromagnetically coupled diferric complex. Resonance Raman spectra showed peaks at 883, 556 and 451 cm−1 that downshifted to 832, 540 and 441 cm−1 when 1 was treated with H2 18O2. All the spectroscopic data support the initial formation of a (μ-hydroxo)(μ-1,2-peroxo)diiron(III) complex that oxidizes carbon-hydrogen bonds. At 0 °C 2 reacted with cyclohexene to yield allylic oxidation products but not epoxide. Weak benzylic C−H bonds of alkylarenes were also oxidized. A plot of the logarithms of the second order rate constants versus the bond dissociation energies of the cleaved C−H bond showed an excellent linear correlation. Along with the observation that oxidation of the probe substrate 2,2-dimethyl-1-phenylpropan-1-ol yielded the corresponding ketone but no benzaldehyde, and the kinetic isotope effect, kH/kD, of 2.8 found for the oxidation of xanthene, the results support the hypothesis for a metal-based H-atom abstraction mechanism. Complex 2 is a rare example of a (μ-hydroxo)(μ-1,2-peroxo)diiron(III) complex that can elicit the oxidation of carbon-hydrogen bonds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-998
Number of pages9
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Bridging ligands
  • C−H bond activation
  • O−O bond activation
  • hydrogen-atom abstraction
  • peroxo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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