Stepwise vs. concerted pathways in scandium ion-coupled electron transfer from superoxide ion to p-benzoquinone derivatives

Tomonori Kawashima, Kei Ohkubo, Shunichi Fukuzumi

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32 Scopus citations


Superoxide ion (O2-) forms a stable 1:1 complex with scandium hexamethylphosphoric triamide complex [Sc(HMPA)3 3+], which can be detected in solution by ESR spectroscopy. Electron transfer from O2--Sc(HMPA)33+ complex to a series of p-benzoquinone derivatives occurs, accompanied by binding of Sc(HMPA)33+ to the corresponding semiquinone radical anion complex to produce the semiquinone radical anion-Sc(HMPA)3 3+ complexes. The 1:1 and 1:2 complexes between semiquinone radical anions and Sc(HMPA)33+ depending on the type of semiquinone radical anions were detected by ESR measurements. This is defined as Sc(HMPA)33+-coupled electron transfer. There are two reaction pathways in the Sc(HMPA)33+-coupled electron transfer. One is a stepwise pathway in which the binding of Sc(HMPA) 33+ to semiquinone radical anions occurs after the electron transfer, when the rate of electron transfer remains constant with the change in concentration of Sc(HMPA)33+. The other is a concerted pathway in which electron transfer and the binding of Sc(HMPA) 33+ occurs in a concerted manner, when the rates of electron transfer exhibit first-order and second-order dependence on the concentration of Sc(HMPA)33+ depending the number of Sc(HMPA)33+ (one and two) bound to semiquinone radical anions. The contribution of two pathways changes depending on the substituents on p-benzoquinone derivatives. The present study provides the first example to clarify the kinetics and mechanism of metal ion-coupled electron-transfer reactions of the superoxide ion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3344-3352
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2011


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