Mononuclear metal-O 2 complexes bearing macrocyclic N-tetramethylated cyclam ligands

Jaeheung Cho, Ritimukta Sarangi, Wonwoo Nam

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171 Scopus citations


Metalloenzymes activate dioxygen to carry out a variety of biological reactions, including the biotransformation of naturally occurring molecules, oxidative metabolism of xenobiotics, and oxidative phosphorylation. The dioxygen activation at the catalytic sites of the enzymes occurs through several steps, such as the binding of O 2 at a reduced metal center, the generation of metal-superoxo and -peroxo species, and the O-O bond cleavage of metal-hydroperoxo complexes to form high-valent metal-oxo oxidants. Because these mononuclear metal-dioxygen (M-O 2) adducts are implicated as key intermediates in dioxygen activation reactions catalyzed by metalloenzymes, studies of the structural and spectroscopic properties and reactivities of synthetic biomimetic analogues of these species have aided our understanding of their biological chemistry. One particularly versatile class of biomimetic coordination complexes for studying dioxygen activation by metal complexes is M-O 2 complexes bearing the macrocyclic N-tetramethylated cyclam (TMC) ligand.This Account describes the synthesis, structural and spectroscopic characterization, and reactivity studies of M-O 2 complexes bearing tetraazamacrocyclic n-TMC ligands, where M = Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and Ni and n = 12, 13, and 14, based on recent results from our laboratory. We have used various spectroscopic techniques, including resonance Raman and X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations to characterize several novel metal-O 2 complexes. Notably, X-ray crystal structures had shown that these complexes are end-on metal-superoxo and side-on metal-peroxo species. The metal ions and the ring size of the macrocyclic TMC ligands control the geometric and electronic structures of the metal-O 2 complexes, resulting in the end-on metal-superoxo versus side-on metal-peroxo structures. Reactivity studies performed with the isolated metal-superoxo complexes reveal that they can conduct electrophilic reactions such as oxygen atom transfer and C-H bond activation of organic substrates. The metal-peroxo complexes are active oxidants in nucleophilic reactions, such as aldehyde deformylation. We also demonstrate a complete intermolecular O 2-transfer from metal(III)-peroxo complexes to a Mn(II) complex. The results presented in this Account show the significance of metal ions and supporting ligands in tuning the geometric and electronic structures and reactivities of the metal-O 2 intermediates that are relevant in biology and in biomimetic reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1330
Number of pages10
JournalAccounts of Chemical Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2012


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