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Isotopic Probing of Molecular Oxygen Activation at Copper(I) Sites

Lanci, M. P.; Smirnov, V. V.; Cramer, C. J.; Gauchenova, E. V.; Sundermeyer, J.; Roth, J. P.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 14697.

Copper-oxygen (CuO2) adducts are frequently proposed as intermediates in enzymes yet their electronic and vibrational structures have not always been understood. [Cu(η1-O2)TMG3tren]+ (TMG3tren = 1,1,1-tris{2-[N2-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylguanidino)]ethyl}amine) features end-on (η1) O2 coordination in the solid state. Described here is an investigation of the compound's solution properties by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, density functional calculations and oxygen isotope effects. The study yields two major findings. First, [Cu(η1-O2)TMG3tren]+ is paramagnetic, most likely due to a triplet electronic structure; this is in contrast to other copper compounds where O2 is bound in a side-on manner. Second, the oxygen equilibrium isotope effect upon O2 binding to copper(I) (18O EIE defined as K(16O16O)/K(16O18O) = 1.0148 +/- 0.0012) is much larger than those determined for iron and cobalt η1-O2 adducts. This result is suggested to reflect greater ionic (CuII-O2-I) character within the valence bond description. A revised interpretation of the physical origins of the 18O EIEs upon O2 binding to redox metals is also advanced along with experimental data that should be used as benchmarks for interpreting 18O kinetic isotope effects upon enzyme reactions.

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