Hydrogen Atom Transfer Thermodynamics of Homologous Co(III)-and Mn(III)-Superoxo Complexes: The Effect of the Metal Spin State

Yao Cheng Tian, Yang Jiang, Yen Hao Lin, Peng Zhang, Chun Chieh Wang, Shengfa Ye*, Way Zen Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Systematic investigations on H atom transfer (HAT) thermodynamics of metal O2adducts is of fundamental importance for the design of transition metal catalysts for substrate oxidation and/or oxygenation directly using O2. Such work should help elucidate underlying electronic-structure features that govern the OO-H bond dissociation free energies (BDFEs) of metal-hydroperoxo species, which can be used to quantitatively appraise the HAT activity of the corresponding metal-superoxo complexes. Herein, the BDFEs of two homologous CoIII-and MnIII-hydroperoxo complexes, 3-Co and 3-Mn, were calculated to be 79.3 and 81.5 kcal/mol, respectively, employing the Bordwell relationship based on experimentally determined pKavalues and redox potentials of the one-electron-oxidized forms, 4-Co and 4-Mn. To further verify these values, we tested the HAT capability of their superoxo congeners, 2-Co and 2-Mn, toward three different substrates possessing varying O-H BDFEs. Specifically, both metal-superoxo species are capable of activating the O-H bond of 4-oxo-TEMPOH with an O-H BDFE of 68.9 kcal/mol, only 2-Mn is able to abstract a H atom from 2,4-di-Tert-butylphenol with an O-H BDFE of 80.9 kcal/mol, and neither of them can react with 3,5-dimethylphenol with an O-H BDFE of 85.6 kcal/mol. Further computational investigations suggested that it is the high spin state of the MnIIIcenter in 3-Mn that renders its OO-H BDFE higher than that of 3-Co, which features a low-spin CoIIIcenter. The present work underscores the role of the metal spin state being as crucial as the oxidation state in modulating BDFEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1899-1909
Number of pages11
JournalJACS Au
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug 22


  • bond dissociation free energies
  • cobalt-superoxo complex
  • dioxygen activation
  • hydrogen atom transfer
  • manganese-superoxo complex
  • metal spin state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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