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Characterization of Oxo-Bridged Iron Amino-bis(phenolate) Complexes Formed Intentionally or in Situ: Mechanistic Insight into Epoxide Deoxygenation during the Coupling of CO2 and Epoxides

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posted on 10.10.2018, 19:14 by Kori A. Andrea, Tyler R. Brown, Jennifer N. Murphy, Dakshita Jagota, Declan McKearney, Christopher M. Kozak, Francesca M. Kerton
A series of iron­(III) chloride and iron­(III) μ-oxo compounds supported by tetradentate amino-bis­(phenolate) ligands containing a homopiperazinyl backbone were prepared and characterized by electronic absorption spectroscopy, magnetic moment measurement, and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The solid-state structures of three iron­(III) μ-oxo compounds were determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction and revealed oxo-bridged bimetallic species with Fe–O–Fe angles between 171.7 and 180°, with the iron centers in distorted square pyramidal environments. Variable temperature magnetic measurements show the oxo complexes exhibit strong antiferromagnetic coupling between two high-spin S = 5/2 iron­(III) centers. The oxo complexes exhibit poor activity for the reaction of carbon dioxide and epoxides in the presence of a cocatalyst, under solvent free conditions to yield cyclic carbonates. The least active iron oxo compound bears tert-butyl groups on the phenolate donors, and we propose that steric congestion around the iron center reduces catalytic activity in this case. We provide evidence that an epoxide deoxygenation step occurs when employing monometallic iron­(III) chlorido species as catalysts. This affords the corresponding μ-oxo compounds which can then enter their own catalytic cycle. Deoxygenation of epoxides during their catalytic reactions with carbon dioxide is frequently overlooked and should be considered as an additional mechanistic pathway when investigating catalysts.

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