N-N bond cleavage of hydrazines with a multiproton-responsive pincer-type iron complex.

Journal of the American Chemical Society

PubMedID: 23611139

Umehara K, Kuwata S, Ikariya T. N-N bond cleavage of hydrazines with a multiproton-responsive pincer-type iron complex. J Am Chem Soc. 2013;135(18):6754-7.
N-N bond cleavage of hydrazines on transition metals is of considerable importance in understanding the mechanism of biological nitrogen fixation under ambient conditions. We found that a metal-ligand-bifunctional complex of iron with a pincer-type ligand bearing two proton-responsive pyrazole arms catalyzes the disproportionation of hydrazine into ammonia and dinitrogen. The NH groups in the pyrazole ligands and hydrazines are crucial for the reaction, which most likely occurs through multiple and bidirectional proton-coupled electron transfer between the iron complex and hydrazine. The multiproton-responsive pincer-type ligand also stabilizes the intermediate diazene complex through a hydrogen-bonding network, as revealed by structural characterization of a ?(1)N-phenylhydrazine complex.