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Inorg Chem. 2005 Oct 31;44(22):8125-34.

Non-heme iron(II) complexes containing tripodal tetradentate nitrogen ligands and their application in alkane oxidation catalysis.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, UK.


A series of iron(II) bis(triflate) complexes containing tripodal tetradentate nitrogen ligands with pyridine and dimethylamine donors of the type [N(CH(2)Pyr)(3-n)()(CH(2)CH(2)NMe(2))(n)] [n = 0 (tpa, 1), n = 1 (iso-bpmen, 3), n = 2 (Me(4)-benpa, 4), n = 3 (Me(6)-tren, 5)] and the linear tetradentate ligand [(CH(2)Pyr)MeN(CH(2)CH(2))NMe(CH(2)Pyr), (bpmen, 2)] has been prepared. The preferred coordination geometry of these complexes in the solid state and in CH(2)Cl(2) solution changes from six- to five-coordinate in the order from 1 to 5. In acetonitrile, the triflate ligands of all complexes are readily displaced by acetonitrile ligands. The complex [Fe(1)(CH(3)CN)(2)](2+) is essentially low spin at room temperature, whereas ligands with fewer pyridine donors increase the preference for high-spin Fe(II). Both the number of pyridine donors and the spin state of the metal center strongly affect the intensity of a characteristic MLCT band around 400 nm. The catalytic properties of the complexes for the oxidation of alkanes have been evaluated, using cyclohexane as the substrate. Complexes containing ligands 1-3 are more active and selective catalysts, possibly operating via a metal-based oxidation mechanism, whereas complexes containing ligands 4 and 5 give rise to Fenton-type chemistry.

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