Direct probing of photoinduced electron transfer in a self-assembled biomimetic [2Fe2S]-hydrogenase complex using ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy

Ping Li, Saeed Amirjalayer, František Hartl, Martin Lutz, Bas De Bruin, Rene Becker, Sander Woutersen, Joost N H Reek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A pyridyl-functionalized diiron dithiolate complex, [μ-(4-pyCH 2-NMI-S2)Fe2(CO)6] (3, py = pyridine (ligand), NMI = naphthalene monoimide) was synthesized and fully characterized. In the presence of zinc tetraphenylporphyrin (ZnTPP), a self-assembled 3·ZnTPP complex was readily formed in CH2Cl2 by the coordination of the pyridyl nitrogen to the porphyrin zinc center. Ultrafast photoinduced electron transfer from excited ZnTPP to complex 3 in the supramolecular assembly was observed in real time by monitoring the (C≡O) and (C=O)NMI spectral changes with femtosecond time-resolved infrared (TRIR) spectroscopy. We have confirmed that photoinduced charge separation produced the monoreduced species by comparing the time-resolved IR spectra with the conventional IR spectra of 3•- generated by reversible electrochemical reduction. The lifetimes for the charge separation and charge recombination processes were found to be τCS = 40 ± 3 ps and τCR = 205 ± 14 ps, respectively. The charge recombination is much slower than that in an analogous covalent complex, demonstrating the potential of a supramolecular approach to extend the lifetime of the charge-separated state in photocatalytic complexes. The observed vibrational frequency shifts provide a very sensitive probe of the delocalization of the electron-spin density over the different parts of the Fe2S2 complex. The TR and spectro-electrochemical IR spectra, electron paramagnetic resonance spectra, and density functional theory calculations all show that the spin density in 3•- is delocalized over the diiron core and the NMI bridge. This delocalization explains why the complex exhibits low catalytic dihydrogen production even though it features a very efficient photoinduced electron transfer. The ultrafast porphyrin-to-NMI-S2-Fe2(CO)6 photoinduced electron transfer is the first reported example of a supramolecular Fe2S2-hydrogenase model studied by femtosecond TRIR spectroscopy. Our results show that TRIR spectroscopy is a powerful tool to investigate photoinduced electron transfer in potential dihydrogen-producing catalytic complexes, and that way to optimize their performance by rational approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5373-5383
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Volume53
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2014

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