A Functional Model of [Fe]-Hydrogenase
[Fe]-Hydrogenase catalyzes the hydrogenation of a biological substrate via the heterolytic splitting of molecular hydrogen. While many synthetic models of [Fe]-hydrogenase have been prepared, none yet are capable of activating H-2 on their own. Here, we report the first Fe-based functional mimic of the active site of [Fe]-hydrogenase, which was developed based on a mechanistic understanding. The activity of this iron model complex is enabled by its unique ligand environment, consisting of biomimetic pyridinylacyl and carbonyl ligands, as well as a bioinspired diphosphine ligand with a pendant amine moiety. The model complex activates H-2 and mediates hydrogenation of an aldehyde.