Bioinspired Catalyst Design

Nature’s design principles for highly efficient non-noble metal catalysts have served as an inspiration and challenge to suggest possible small molecule catalysts which perform equally well.

A catalytically active homobimetallic Fe model complex mimicking the [FeFe]-enzyme with an asymmetric ligand environment and two bridging monothiolate ligands resembling the [NiFe]-enzyme is taking up design priniciples from both types of enzymes. The monodentate terminal phosphine ligand provides an electron rich environment at the iron center and the steric demand of this ligand also hinders the phosphine ligand rotation by forming π–π stacking interactions between the bridging monothiolate and the terminal phosphine ligand in solution.

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