Experimentally quantifying small-molecule bond activation using valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy.
ABSTRACT: This work establishes the ability of valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) to serve as a direct probe of N2 bond activation. A systematic series of iron-N2 complexes has been experimentally investigated and the energy of a valence-to-core XES peak was correlated with N-N bond length and stretching frequency. Computations demonstrate that, in a simple one-electron picture, this peak arises from the N2 2s2s ?* orbital, which becomes less antibonding as the N-N bond is weakened and broken. Changes as small as 0.02 Å in the N-N bond length may be distinguished using this approach. The results thus establish valence-to-core XES as an effective probe of small molecule activation, which should have broad applicability in transition-metal mediated catalysis.
Project description:Transition-metal K? X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) is a developing technique that probes the occupied molecular orbitals of a metal complex. As an element-specific probe of metal centers, K? XES is finding increasing applications in catalytic and, in particular, bioinorganic systems. For the continued development of XES as a probe of these complex systems, however, the full range of factors which contribute to XES spectral modulations must be explored. In this report, an investigation of a series of oxo-bridged iron dimers reveals that the intensity of valence-to-core features is sensitive to the Fe-O-Fe bond angle. The intensity of these features has a well-known dependence on metal-ligand bond distance, but a dependence upon bond angle has not previously been documented. Herein, we explore the angular dependence of valence-to-core XES features both experimentally and computationally. Taken together, these results show that, as the Fe-O-Fe angle decreases, the intensity of the K?? feature increases and that this effect is modulated by increasing amounts of Fe np mixing into the O 2s orbital at smaller bond angles. The relevance of these findings to the identification of oxygenated intermediates in bioinorganic systems is highlighted, with special emphasis given to the case of soluble methane monooxygenase.
Project description:We probe the dynamics of valence electrons in photoexcited [Fe(terpy)2]2+ in solution to gain deeper insight into the Fe-ligand bond changes. We use hard X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES), which combines element specificity and high penetration with sensitivity to orbital structure, making it a powerful technique for molecular studies in a wide variety of environments. A picosecond-time-resolved measurement of the complete 1s X-ray emission spectrum captures the transient photoinduced changes and includes the weak valence-to-core (vtc) emission lines that correspond to transitions from occupied valence orbitals to the nascent core-hole. Vtc-XES offers particular insight into the molecular orbitals directly involved in the light-driven dynamics; a change in the metal-ligand orbital overlap results in an intensity reduction and a blue energy shift in agreement with our theoretical calculations and more subtle features at the highest energies reflect changes in the frontier orbital populations.
Project description:K? valence-to-core (V2C) X-emission spectroscopy (XES) has gained prominence as a tool for molecular inorganic chemists to probe the occupied valence orbitals of coordination complexes, as illustrated by recent evaluation of K? V2C XES ranging from titanium to iron. However, cobalt K? V2C XES has not been studied in detail, limiting the application of this technique to probe cobalt coordination in molecular catalysts and bioinorganic systems. In addition, the community still lacks a complete understanding of all factors that dictate the V2C peak area. In this manuscript, we report experimental cobalt K? V2C XES spectra of low-spin octahedral Co(iii) complexes with different ligand donors, in conjunction with DFT calculations. Cobalt K? V2C XES was demonstrated to be sensitive to cobalt-ligand coordination environments. Notably, we recognize here for the first time that there is a linear correlation between the V2C area and the spectrochemical series for low-spin octahedral cobalt(iii) complexes, with strong field ? acceptor ligands giving rise to the largest V2C area. This unprecedented correlation is explained by invoking different levels of ?-interaction between cobalt p orbitals and ligand orbitals that modulate the percentage of cobalt p orbital character in donor MOs, in combination with changes in the average cobalt-ligand distance.
Project description:Valence-to-Core (VtC) X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) was used to directly detect the presence of an O-O bond in a complex comprising the [CuII 2 (?-?2 :?2 -O2 )]2+ core relative to its isomer with a cleaved O-O bond having a [CuIII 2 (?-O)2 ]2+ unit. The experimental studies are complemented by DFT calculations, which show that the unique VtC XES feature of the [CuII 2 (?-?2 :?2 -O2 )]2+ core corresponds to the copper stabilized in-plane 2p ? peroxo molecular orbital. These calculations illustrate the sensitivity of VtC XES for probing the extent of O-O bond activation in ?-?2 :?2 -O2 species and highlight the potential of this method for time-resolved studies of reaction mechanisms.
Project description:This paper explores the strengths and limitations of valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy (V2C XES) as a probe of coordination environments. A library was assembled from spectra obtained for 12 diverse Cr complexes and used to calibrate density functional theory (DFT) calculations of V2C XES band energies. A functional dependence study was undertaken to benchmark predictive accuracy. All 7 functionals tested reproduce experimental V2C XES energies with an accuracy of 0.5 eV. Experimentally calibrated, DFT calculated V2C XES spectra of 90 Cr compounds were used to produce a quantitative spectrochemical series showing the V2C XES band energy ranges for ligands comprising 18 distinct classes. Substantial overlaps are detected in these ranges, which complicates the use of V2C XES to identify ligands in the coordination spheres of unknown Cr compounds. The ligand-dependent origins of V2C intensity are explored for a homologous series of [Cr(III)(NH3)5X](2+) (X = F, Cl, Br, and I) to rationalize the variable intensity contributions of these ligand classes.
Project description:Proton transfer reactions are of central importance to a wide variety of biochemical processes, though determining proton location and monitoring proton transfers in biological systems is often extremely challenging. Herein, we use two-color valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy (VtC XES) to identify protonation events across three oxidation states of the O2 -activating, radical-initiating manganese-iron heterodinuclear cofactor in a class I-c ribonucleotide reductase. This is the first application of VtC XES to an enzyme intermediate and the first simultaneous measurement of two-color VtC spectra. In contrast to more conventional methods of assessing protonation state, VtC XES is a more direct probe applicable to a wide range of metalloenzyme systems. These data, coupled to insight provided by DFT calculations, allow the inorganic cores of the MnIV FeIV and MnIV FeIII states of the enzyme to be assigned as MnIV (?-O)2 FeIV and MnIV (?-O)(?-OH)FeIII , respectively.
Project description:Calcium is an abundant, nontoxic metal that finds many roles in synthetic and biological systems including the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) of photosystem II. Characterization methods for calcium centers, however, are underdeveloped compared to those available for transition metals. Valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy (VtC XES) selectively probes the electronic structure of an element's chemical environment, providing insight that complements the geometric information available from other techniques. Here, the utility of calcium VtC XES is established using an in-house dispersive spectrometer in combination with density functional theory. Spectral trends are rationalized within a molecular orbital framework, and K?2,5 transitions, derived from molecular orbitals with primarily ligand p character, are found to be a promising probe of the calcium coordination environment. In particular, it is shown that calcium VtC XES is sensitive to the electronic structure changes that accompany oxo protonation in Mn3CaO4-based molecular mimics of the OEC. Through correlation to calculations, the potential of calcium VtC XES to address unresolved questions regarding the mechanism of biological water oxidation is highlighted.
Project description:Manganese K-edge X-ray absorption (XAS) and K? emission (XES) spectroscopies were used to investigate the factors contributing to O-O bond activation in a small-molecule system. The recent structural characterization of a metastable peroxo-bridged dimeric Mn(III)2 complex derived from dioxygen has provided the first opportunity to obtain X-ray spectroscopic data on this type of species. Ground state and time-dependent density functional theory calculations have provided further insight into the nature of the transitions in XAS pre-edge and valence-to-core (VtC) XES spectral regions. An experimentally validated electronic structure description has also enabled the determination of structural and electronic factors that govern peroxo bond activation, and have allowed us to propose both a rationale for the metastability of this unique compound, as well as potential future ligand designs which may further promote or inhibit O-O bond scission. Finally, we have explored the potential of VtC XES as an element-selective probe of both the coordination mode and degree of activation of peroxomanganese adducts. The comparison of these results to a recent VtC XES study of iron-mediated dintrogen activation helps to illustrate the factors that may determine the success of this spectroscopic method for future studies of small-molecule activation at transition metal sites.
Project description:Iron valence-to-core Fe K? X-ray emission spectroscopy (V2C XES) is established as a means to identify light atoms (C, N, O) within complex multimetallic frameworks. The ability to distinguish light atoms, particularly in the presence of heavier atoms, is a well-known limitation of both crystallography and EXAFS. Using the sensitivity of V2C XES to the ionization potential of the bound ligand, energetic shifts of ~10 eV in the ligand 2s ionization energies of bound C, N, and O may be observed. As V2C XES is a high-energy X-ray method, it is readily applicable to samples in any physical form. This method thus has great potential for application to multimetallic inorganic frameworks involved in both small molecule storage and activation.
Project description:The protonation state of oxo bridges in nature is of profound importance for a variety of enzymes, including the Mn4CaO5 cluster of photosystem II and the Mn2O2 cluster in Mn catalase. A set of dinuclear bis-?-oxo-bridged Mn(IV) complexes in different protonation states was studied by K? emission spectroscopy to form the foundation for unraveling the protonation states in the native complex. The valence-to-core regions (valence-to-core XES) of the spectra show significant changes in intensity and peak position upon protonation. DFT calculations were performed to simulate the valence-to-core XES spectra and to assign the spectral features to specific transitions. The K?(2,5) peaks arise primarily from the ligand 2p to Mn 1s transitions, with a characteristic low energy shoulder appearing upon oxo-bridge protonation. The satellite K?" peak provides a more direct signature of the protonation state change, since the transitions originating from the 2s orbitals of protonated and unprotonated ?-oxo bridges dominate this spectral region. The energies of the K?" features differ by ~3 eV and thus are well resolved in the experimental spectra. Additionally, our work explores the chemical resolution limits of the method, namely, whether a mixed (?-O)(?-OH2) motif can be distinguished from a symmetric (?-OH)2 one. The results reported here highlight the sensitivity of K? valence-to-core XES to single protonation state changes of bridging ligands, and form the basis for further studies of oxo-bridged polymetallic complexes and metalloenzyme active sites. In a complementary paper, the results from X-ray absorption spectroscopy of the same Mn(IV) dimer series are discussed.