Synthesis and Reactivity of Mononuclear Iron Models of [Fe]-Hydrogenase that Contain an Acylmethylpyridinol Ligand
[Fe]-hydrogenase has a single iron-containing active site that features an acylmethylpyridinol ligand. This unique ligand environment had yet to be reproduced in synthetic models; however the synthesis and reactivity of a new class of small molecule mimics of [Fe]-hydrogenase in which a mono-iron center is ligated by an acylmethylpyridinol ligand has now been achieved. Key to the preparation of these model compounds is the successful C[BOND]O cleavage of an alkyl ether moiety to form the desired pyridinol ligand. Reaction of solvated complex [(2-CH2CO-6-HOC5H3N)Fe(CO)2(CH3CN)2]+(BF4)− with thiols or thiophenols in the presence of NEt3 yielded 5-coordinate iron thiolate complexes. Further derivation produced complexes [(2-CH2CO-6-HOC5H3N)Fe(CO)2(SCH2CH2OH)] and [(2-CH2CO-6-HOC5H3N)Fe(CO)2(CH3COO)], which can be regarded as models of FeGP cofactors of [Fe]-hydrogenase extracted by 2-mercaptoethanol and acetic acid, respectively. When the derivative complexes were treated with HBF4⋅Et2O, the solvated complex was regenerated by protonation of the thiolate ligands. The reactivity of several models with CO, isocyanide, cyanide, and H2 was also investigated.