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Dalton Trans. 2006 Mar 21;(11):1399-408. Epub 2006 Jan 20.

Iron(II), manganese(II) and cobalt(II) complexes containing tetradentate biphenyl-bridged ligands and their application in alkane oxidation catalysis.

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Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, South Kensington, UK.


A series of manganese(II), iron(II) and cobalt(II) bis(triflate) complexes containing linear tetradentate bis(imine) and bis(amine) ligands with a biphenyl bridge have been synthesized. The twist in the ligand backbone due to the biphenyl unit leads in the case of the bis(imine) ligands (1 and 2) containing sp2 hybridised N donors, to a distorted cis-alpha coordination geometry, whereas in the case of the biphenyl- and biphenylether-bridged bis(amine) ligands (7 - 9 and 12), a trans coordination geometry is observed. The catalytic properties of the complexes for the oxidation of cyclohexane, using H2O2 as the oxidant, have been evaluated. Only the iron complexes show any catalytic activity under the conditions used, but the low conversions and selectivies observed indicate that these catalysts lead predominantly to free radical auto-oxidation.

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