The redox characteristics of (μ-SMe)2Fe2(CO)6 from the 1+ to 2- charge states are reported. This [2Fe-2S] compound is related to the active sites of [FeFe]-hydrogenases but notably without a linker between the sulfur atoms. The 1+ charge state was studied both by ionization in the gas phase by photoelectron spectroscopy and by oxidation in the solution phase by cyclic voltammetry. The adiabatic ionization is to a cation whose structure features a semibridging carbonyl, similar to the structure of the active site of [FeFe]-hydrogenases in the same oxidation state. The reduction of the compound by cyclic voltammetry gives an electrochemically irreversible cathodic peak, which often suggests disproportionation or other irreversible chemical processes in this class of molecules. However, the return scan through electrochemically irreversible oxidation peaks that occur at potentials around 1 V more positive than the reduction led to the recovery of the initial neutral compound. The dependence of the CVs on scan rate, IR spectroelectrochemistry of reduction and oxidation cycles, chronocoulometry, and DFT computations indicate a mechanism in which stabilization of the dianion plays a key role. Initial one-electron reduction of the compound is accompanied in the same cathodic peak with a second slower electron reduction to the dianion. Geometric reorganization and solvation stabilize the [2Fe-2S]2- dianion such that the potential for addition of the second electron is slightly less negative than that of the first (potential inversion). The return oxidation peaks at more positive potentials follow from rapid pairing of the dianion with another neutral molecule in solution (termed homoassociation) to form a stabilized [4Fe-4S]2- dianion. Two one-electron oxidations of this [4Fe-4S]2- dianion result in regeneration of the initial neutral compound. The implications of this homoassociation for the [FeFe]-hydrogenase enzyme, in which the H-cluster active site features a [2Fe-2S] site associated with a [4Fe-4S] cubane cluster via a thiolate bridge, are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry