Fine-tuning of copper(I)-dioxygen reactivity by 2-(2-pyridyl)ethylamine bidentate ligands

Masayasu Taki, Shinichi Teramae, Shigenori Nagatomo, Yoshimitsu Tachi, Teizo Kitagawa, Shinobu Itoh, Shunichi Fukuzumi

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Copper(I)-dioxygen reactivity has been examined using a series of 2-(2-pyridyl)ethylamine bidentate ligands R1Py1R2,R3. The bidentate ligand with the methyl substituent on the pyridine nucleus MePy1Et,Bz (N-benzyl-N-ethyl-2-(6-methylpyridin-2-yl)ethylamine) predominantly provided a (μ-η22-peroxo)dicopper(II) complex, while the bidentate ligand without the 6-methyl group HPy1Et,Bz (N-benzyl-N-ethyl-2-(2-pyridyl)ethylamine) afforded a bis(μ-oxo)dicopper(III) complex under the same experimental conditions. Both Cu2O2 complexes gradually decompose, leading to oxidative N-dealkylation reaction of the benzyl group. Detailed kinetic analysis has revealed that the bis (μ-oxo)dicopper(III) complex is the common reactive intermediate in both cases and that O-O bond homolysis of the peroxo complex is the rate-determining step in the former case with MePy1Et,Bz. On the other hand, the copper(I) complex supported by the bidentate ligand with the smallest N-alkyl group (HPy1Me,Me, N,N-dimethyl-2-(2-pyridyl)ethylamine) reacts with molecular oxygen in a 3:1 ratio in acetone at a low temperature to give a mixed-valence trinuclear copper(II, II, III) complex with two μ3-oxo bridges, the UV-vis spectrum of which is very close to that of an active oxygen intermediate of lacase. Detailed spectroscopic analysis on the oxygenation reaction at different concentrations has indicated that a bis(μ-oxo)dicopper(III) complex is the precursor for the formation of trinuclear copper complex. In the reaction with 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol (DBP), the trinuclear copper(II, II, III) complex acts as a two-electron oxidant to produce an equimolar amount of the C-C coupling dimer of DBP (3,5,3′,5′tetra-tert-butyl-biphenyl-2,2′-diol) and a bis(μ-hydroxo)dicopper(II) complex. Kinetic analysis has shown that the reaction consists of two distinct steps, where the first step involves a binding of DBP to the trinuclear complex to give a certain intermediate that further reacts with the second molecule of DBP to give another intermediate, from which the final products are released. Steric and/or electronic effects of the 6-methyl group and the N-alkyl substituents of the bidentate ligands on the copper(I)-dioxygen reactivity have been discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6367-6377
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number22
StatePublished - 5 Jun 2002


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