Inorganic Chemistry

Structure and Reactivity of a High-Spin, Non-Heme Iron(III)-Superoxo Complex Supported by Phosphinimide Ligands

Charles Winslow University of California, Berkeley


Non-heme iron oxygenases utilize dioxygen to accomplish challenging chemical oxidations. Further understanding of the Fe-O2 intermediates implicated in these processes is challenged by their highly transient nature. To that end, we have developed a ligand platform featuring phosphinimide donors intended to stabilize oxidized, high-spin iron complexes. O2 exposure of single crystals of a three-coordinate Fe(II) complex of this framework allowed for in crystallo trapping of a terminally-bound Fe-O2 complex suitable for XRD characterization. Spectroscopic and computational studies of this species support a high-spin Fe(III) center antiferromagnetically coupled to a superoxide ligand, similar to that proposed for numerous non-heme iron oxygenases. In addition to the stability of this synthetic Fe-O2 complex, its ability to engage in a range of stoichiometric and catalytic oxidation processes demonstrates that this iron-phosphinimide system is primed for development in modelling oxidizing bioinorganic intermediates and green oxidation chemistry.


Thumbnail image of Winslow_HLFeO2.pdf
download asset Winslow_HLFeO2.pdf 1 MB [opens in a new tab]

Supplementary material

Thumbnail image of SI_HLFeO2_Winslow.pdf
download asset SI_HLFeO2_Winslow.pdf 1 MB [opens in a new tab]
SI HLFeO2 Winslow