106-fold faster C–H bond hydroxylation by a CoIII,IV2(µ-O)2 complex [via a CoIII2(µ-O)(µ-OH) intermediate] versus its FeIIIFeIV analog

Yan Li, Chase Abelson, Lawrence Que, Dong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The hydroxylation of C–H bonds can be carried out by the high-valent CoIII,IV2(µ-O)2 complex 2a supported by the tetradentate tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine ligand via a CoIII2(µ-O)(µ-OH) intermediate (3a). Complex 3a can be independently generated either by H-atom transfer (HAT) in the reaction of 2a with phenols as the H-atom donor or protonation of its conjugate base, the CoIII2(µ-O)2 complex 1a. Resonance Raman spectra of these three complexes reveal oxygen-isotope-sensitive vibrations at 560 to 590 cm−1 associated with the symmetric Co–O–Co stretching mode of the Co2O2 diamond core. Together with a Co•••Co distance of 2.78(2) Å previously identified for 1a and 2a by Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) analysis, these results provide solid evidence for their “diamond core” structural assignments. The independent generation of 3a allows us to investigate HAT reactions of 2a with phenols in detail, measure the redox potential and pKa of the system, and calculate the O–H bond strength (DO–H) of 3a to shed light on the C–H bond activation reactivity of 2a. Complex 3a is found to be able to transfer its hydroxyl ligand onto the trityl radical to form the hydroxylated product, representing a direct experimental observation of such a reaction by a dinuclear cobalt complex. Surprisingly, reactivity comparisons reveal 2a to be 106-fold more reactive in oxidizing hydrocarbon C–H bonds than corresponding FeIII,IV2(µ-O)2 and MnIII,IV2(µ-O)2 analogs, an unexpected outcome that raises the prospects for using CoIII,IV2(µ-O)2 species to oxidize alkane C–H bonds.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2307950120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume120
Issue number51
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Co(µ-O) diamond core
  • C–H bond hydroxylation
  • high-valent dicobalt oxidant
  • radical rebound/coupling

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