Synthesis of new Mn19 analogues and their structural, electrochemical and catalytic properties†
We report the synthesis and structural characterisation of new Mn19 and Mn18M analogues, [MnIII12MnII7(μ4-O)8(μ3-OCH3)2(μ3-Br)6(HLMe)12(MeOH)6]Br2 (2) and [MnIII12MnII6Sr(μ4-O8(μ3-Cl)8(HLMe)12(MeCN)6]Cl2 cluster (3), where H3LMe is 2,6-bis(hydroxymethyl)-p-cresol. The electrochemistry of 2 and 3 has been investigated and their activity as catalysts in the oxidation of benzyl alcohol has been evaluated. Selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde by O2 was achieved using 1 mol% of catalyst with conversions of 74% (2) and 60% (3) at 140 °C using TEMPO as a co-catalyst. No partial conversion of benzaldehyde to benzoic acid was observed. The results obtained revealed that different operative parameters – such as catalyst loading, temperature, time, solvent and the presence of molecular oxygen – played an important role in the selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol.