Systematic ligand variation to modulate the electrochemical properties of iron and manganese complexes†
A series of iron(+III) and manganese(+II) complexes based on the dpaqR-ligand system (dpaq = 2-[bis(pyridine-2-ylmethyl)]amino-N-quinolin-8-yl-acetamide) were investigated using cyclic voltammetry (CV) to elucidate how the electronic properties of the ligands influence the overpotential and catalytic current in the context of water oxidation catalysis. For the Fe-complexes an electron withdrawing NO2 or CF3 group attached to the 5-position of the quinoline unit increased the catalytic current, but only with a simultaneous increase of the overpotential. However, when a pyrene moiety was attached to the dipicolylamine unit of the ligand, the overpotential decreased with concomitant increase of the catalytic current. Although the manganese complexes showed no reversible formation of a molecular catalytically active species for water oxidation, the variations of the ligand scaffold affected largely the same trends in their electrochemical behavior.