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Inorg Chem. 2014 Jan 21;53(2):664-6. doi: 10.1021/ic402108w. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

Catalytic reduction of hydrazine to ammonia by a mononuclear iron(II) complex on a tris(thiolato)phosphine platform.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, National Cheng Kung University , Tainan 701, Taiwan.


To provide the mechanistic information of nitrogenase at a molecular level, much effort has been made to develop synthetic metal complexes that have enzyme-like reactivity. Herein we obtain an iron(II) complex binding with a tris(thiolato)phosphine ligand, [P(Ph)4][Fe(PS3″)(CH3CN)] [1; PS3″ = P(C6H3-3-Me3Si-2-S)3(3-)] that catalyzes the reduction of hydrazine, an intermediate and a substrate of nitrogenase. The substrate- and product-bound adducts, [N(Bu)4][Fe(PS3″)(N2H4)] (2) and [N(Et)4][Fe(PS3″)(NH3)] (3), respectively, are also synthesized. This work provides the feasibility that the late stage of biological nitrogen fixation can be conducted at a single iron site with a sulfur-rich ligation environment.

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