Regioselectivity in ligand substitution reactions on diiron complexes governed by nucleophilic and electrophilic ligand properties

Ryan D. Bethel, Danielle J. Crouthers, Chung Hung Hsieh, Jason A. Denny, Michael B. Hall*, Marcetta Y. Darensbourg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The discovery of a diiron organometallic site in nature within the diiron hydrogenase, [FeFe]-H2ase, active site has prompted revisits of the classic organometallic chemistry involving the Fe-Fe bond and bridging ligands, particularly of the (μ-SCH2XCH2S)[Fe(CO)3]2 and (μ-SCH2XCH2S)[Fe(CO)2L]2 (X = CH2, NH; L = PMe3, CN-, and NHCs (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbene)), derived from CO/L exchange reactions. Through the synergy of synthetic chemistry and density functional theory computations, the regioselectivity of nucleophilic (PMe3 or CN-) and electrophilic (nitrosonium, NO+) ligand substitution on the diiron dithiolate framework of the (μ-pdt)[Fe(CO)2NHC][Fe(CO)3] complex (pdt = propanedithiolate) reveals the electron density shifts in the diiron core of such complexes that mimic the [FeFe]-H2ase active site. While CO substitution by PMe3, followed by reaction with NO+, produces (μ-pdt)(μ-CO)[Fe(NHC)(NO)][Fe(CO)2PMe3]+, the alternate order of reagent addition produces the structural isomer (μ-pdt)[Fe(NHC)(NO)PMe3][Fe(CO)3]+, illustrating how the nucleophile and electrophile choose the electron-poor metal and the electron-rich metal, respectively. Theoretical explorations of simpler analogues, (μ-pdt)[Fe(CO)2CN][Fe(CO)3]-, (μ-pdt)[Fe(CO)3]2, and (μ-pdt)[Fe(CO)2NO][Fe(CO)3]+, provide an explanation for the role that the electron-rich iron moiety plays in inducing the rotation of the electron-poor iron moiety to produce a bridging CO ligand, a key factor in stabilizing the electron-rich iron moiety and for support of the rotated structure as found in the enzyme active site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3523-3535
Number of pages13
JournalInorganic chemistry
Volume54
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 6 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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