Light-Induced Activation of a Molybdenum Oxotransferase Model within a Ru(II)-Mo(VI) Dyad

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Nature uses molybdenum-containing enzymes to catalyze oxygen atom transfer (OAT) from water to organic substrates. In these enzymes, the two electrons that are released during the reaction are rapidly removed, one at a time, by spatially separated electron transfer units. Inspired by this design, a Ru(II)-Mo(VI) dyad was synthesized and characterized, with the aim of accelerating the rate-determining step in the cis-dioxo molybdenum-catalyzed OAT cycle, the transfer of an oxo ligand to triphenyl phosphine, via a photo-oxidation process. The dyad consists of a photoactive bis(bipyridyl)-phenanthroline ruthenium moiety that is covalently linked to a bioinspired cis-dioxo molybdenum thiosemicarbazone complex. The quantum yield and luminescence lifetimes of the dyad [Ru(bpy)2(L(2))MoO2(solv)](2+) were determined. The major component of the luminescence decay in MeCN solution (τ = 1149 ± 2 ns, 67%) corresponds closely to the lifetime of excited [Ru(bpy)2(phen-NH2)](2+), while the minor component (τ = 320 ± 1 ns, 31%) matches that of [Ru(bpy)2(H2-L(2))](2+). In addition, the (spectro)electrochemical properties of the system were investigated. Catalytic tests showed that the dyad-catalyzed OAT from dimethyl sulfoxide to triphenyl phosphine proceeds significantly faster upon irradiation with visible light than in the dark. Methylviologen acts as a mediator in the photoredox cycle, but it is regenerated and hence only required in stoichiometric amounts with respect to the catalyst rather than sacrificial amounts. It is proposed that oxidative quenching of the photoexcited Ru unit, followed by intramolecular electron transfer, leads to the production of a reactive one-electron oxidized catalyst, which is not accessible by electrochemical methods. A significant, but less pronounced, rate enhancement was observed when an analogous bimolecular system was tested, indicating that intramolecular electron transfer between the photosensitizer and the catalytic center is more efficient than intermolecular electron transfer between the separate components.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6b01485
Pages (from-to)12583−12594
Number of pages12
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Early online date1 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2016

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© 2016 American Chemical Society

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