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J Inorg Biochem. 2002 Feb;88(3-4):368-74.

Frontier molecular orbital analysis of Cu(n)-O(2) reactivity.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Frontier molecular orbital (FMO) theory coupled with density functional calculations has been applied to investigate the chemical reactivity of three key bioinorganic Cu(n)-O(2) complexes, the mononuclear end-on hydroperoxo-Cu(II), the side-on bridged mu-eta(2):eta(2)-O(2)(2-) Cu(II)(2) dimer and the bis-mu-oxo Cu(III)(2) dimer. Two acceptor orbitals (sigma* and pi*) of each complex and two types of donating substrates (sigma-substrate, phosphine; pi-substrate, alkylbenzene) are considered in the electrophilic attack mechanism. The angular dependences of different reaction pathways are determined using FMO theory and the angular overlap model. Including steric effects, the sigma*/sigma and pi*/pi pathways are found more reactive than the corresponding cross sigma*/pi and pi*/sigma pathways which have poor donor-acceptor orbital overlaps in the sterically constrained substrate access region.

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