Computational Investigation of [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Models: Characterization of Singly and Doubly Protonated Intermediates and Mechanistic Insights

Mioy T. Huynh, Wenguang Wang, Thomas B. Rauchfuss, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer
2014 Inorganic Chemistry  
The [FeFe]-hydrogenase enzymes catalyze hydrogen oxidation and production efficiently with binuclear Fe metal centers. Recently the bioinspired H 2 -producing model system Fe 2 (adt)(CO) 2 (dppv) 2 (adt=azadithiolate and dppv=diphosphine) was synthesized and studied experimentally. In this system, the azadithiolate bridge facilitates the formation of a doubly protonated ammonium-hydride species through a proton relay. Herein computational methods are utilized to examine this system in the
more » ... s oxidation states and protonation states along proposed mechanistic pathways for H 2 production. The calculated results agree well with the experimental data for the geometries, CO vibrational stretching frequencies, and reduction potentials. The calculations illustrate that the NH···HFe dihydrogen bonding distance in the doubly protonated species is highly sensitive to the effects of ionpairing between the ammonium and BF 4 − counterions, which are present in the crystal structure, in that the inclusion of BF 4 − counterions leads to a significantly longer dihydrogen bond. The non-hydride Fe center was found to be the site of reduction for terminal hydride species and unsymmetric bridging hydride species, whereas the reduced symmetric bridging hydride species exhibited spin delocalization between the Fe centers. According to both experimental measurements and theoretical calculations of the relative pK a values, the Fe d center of the neutral species is more basic than the amine, and the bridging hydride species is more thermodynamically stable than the terminal hydride species. The calculations implicate a possible pathway for H 2 evolution that involves an intermediate with H 2 weakly bonded to one Fe, a short H 2 distance similar to the molecular bond length, the spin density delocalized over the two Fe centers, and a nearly symmetrically bridged CO ligand. Overall, this study illustrates the mechanistic roles of the ammonium-hydride interaction, flexibility of the bridging CO ligand, and intramolecular electron transfer between the Fe centers in the catalytic cycle. Such insights will assist in the design of more effective bioinspired catalysts for H 2 production.
doi:10.1021/ic5013523 pmid:25207842 pmcid:PMC4186672 fatcat:uzgplb3rcfhtzmu7mp6zdvzsme