Mechanistic insight into oxygen atom transfer reactions by mononuclear manganese(iv)–oxo adducts†
High-valent metal–oxo intermediates are well known to facilitate oxygen-atom transfer (OAT) reactions both in biological and synthetic systems. These reactions can occur by a single-step OAT mechanism or by a stepwise process initiated by rate-limiting electron transfer between the substrate and the metal–oxo unit. Several recent reports have demonstrated that changes in the metal reduction potential, caused by the addition of Brønsted or Lewis acids, cause a change in sulfoxidation mechanism of MnIV–oxo complexes from single-step OAT to the multistep process. In this work, we sought to determine if ca. 4000-fold rate variations observed for sulfoxidation reactions by a series of MnIV–oxo complexes supported by neutral, pentadentate ligands could arise from a change in sulfoxidation mechanism. We examined the basis for this rate variation by performing variable-temperature kinetic studies to determine activation parameters for the reactions of the MnIV–oxo complexes with thioanisole. These data reveal activation barriers predominantly controlled by activation enthalpy, with unexpectedly small contributions from the activation entropy. We also compared the reactivity of these MnIV–oxo complexes by a Hammett analysis using para-substituted thioanisole derivatives. Similar Hammett ρ values from this analysis suggest a common sulfoxidation mechanism for these complexes. Because the rates of oxidation of the para-substituted thioanisole derivatives by the MnIV–oxo adducts are much faster than that expected from the Marcus theory of outer-sphere electron-transfer, we conclude that these reactions proceed by a single-step OAT mechanism. Thus, large variations in sulfoxidation by this series of MnIV–oxo centers occur without a change in reaction mechanism.