A new class of synthetic models for the active site of [NiFe]-hydrogenases are described. The NiI/II(SCys)2 and FeII(CN)2CO sites are represented with (RC5H4)NiI/II and FeII(diphos)(CO) modules, where diphos = 1,2-C2H4(PPh2)2(dppe) or cis-1,2-C2H2(PPh2)2(dppv). The two bridging thiolate ligands are represented by CH2(CH2S)22- (pdt2-), Me2C(CH2S)22- (Me2pdt2-), and (C6H5S)22-. The reaction of Fe(pdt)(CO)2(dppe) and [(C5H5)3Ni2]BF4 affords [(C5H5)Ni(pdt)Fe(dppe)(CO)]BF4 ([1a]BF4). Monocarbonyl [1a]BF4 features an S = 0 NiIIFeII center with five-coordinated iron, as proposed for the Ni-SIa state of the enzyme. One-electron reduction of [1a]+ affords the S = 1/2 derivative [1a]0, which, according to density functional theory (DFT) calculations and electron paramagnetic resonance and Mössbauer spectroscopies, is best described as a NiIFeII compound. The NiIFeII assignment matches that for the Ni-L state in [NiFe]-hydrogenase, unlike recently reported NiIIFeI-based models. Compound [1a]0 reacts with strong acids to liberate 0.5 equiv of H2 and regenerate [1a]+, indicating that H2 evolution is catalyzed by [1a]0. DFT calculations were used to investigate the pathway for H2 evolution and revealed that the mechanism can proceed through two isomers of [1a]0 that differ in the stereochemistry of the Fe(dppe)CO center. Calculations suggest that protonation of [1a]0 (both isomers) affords NiIII-H-FeII intermediates, which represent mimics of the Ni-C state of the enzyme.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry