Photochemical activation of metalloporphyrin carbene complexes

Christopher J. Ziegler, Kenneth S. Suslick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the photochemistry of simple metalloporphyrin complexes has been explored to some extent, the photoactivation of multiple-bonded axial ligands coordinated to metalloporphyrins has not been previously examined. We report here the photochemistry of several iron porphyrin carbene and vinylidene complexes. Irradiation of these complexes with visible light cleaves the iron-carbon double bond and produces a four coordinate iron(II) porphyrin and a free carbene, which can be trapped in high yield with a variety of alkenes. This photochemistry is unique among organo transition metal complexes of carbenes or alkylidenes. For these metalloporphyrin carbene complexes, the presence of the porphyrin ring alters the photoreactivity of the metal-carbon bond. This is probably due to the mixing between the π * orbitals of the porphyrin ring and the iron-carbon orbitals, which is also responsible for the hypso-type spectrum (i.e. blue-shifted) seen in these complexes. Hypso spectra are a common trait in other photodissociative porphyrin complexes, most notably CO complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1997


  • Carbene
  • Iron
  • Metalloporphyrin
  • Photochemistry
  • Porphyrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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