Electrochemical and solution structural characterisation of Fe(III) azotochelin complexes: Examining the coordination behaviour of a tetradentate siderophore

Natalia Baranska, Alison Parkin*, Anne-Kathrin Duhme-Klair*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We report an electrochemical setup comprising a boron-doped diamond (BDD) working electrode for the electrochemical study of iron(III) catecholate siderophores. We demonstrate its successful application in the voltammetric investigation of iron(III) azotochelin, an iron complex of a bis(catecholate) siderophore. Cyclic voltammetry results, when complemented by UV-vis and native ESI-MS characterisation reveal the formation of a coordinatively-unsaturated tetracoordinate 1:1 complex of Fe:azotochelin (M1:L1) at neutral pH, contrary to iron(III) tetradentate siderophore complexes of other classes which favour the hexacoordinate environment of a M2:L3 species. A notable effect of pH and buffer composition on the reduction potential of iron(III) azotochelin is demonstrated. Lower pH values and buffers encompassing primary or secondary amines facilitate a positive potential shift of up to +290 mV and +250 mV vs Ag/AgCl 3M NaCl, respectively. The study was extended to the investigation of the iron(III) complexes of hexadentate siderophores. For tris(catecholate) siderophores, enterobactin and protochelin, the reduction potentials were found to lie beyond the potential window accessible to the BDD electrode, however, we were successful in observing the electrochemical behaviour of a tris(hydroxamate) siderophore, ferricrocin.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Early online date17 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors


  • iron; siderophores; ligands; redox reactions; cyclic voltammetry

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