Photoinduced electron transfer in Ruthenium bipyridyl complexes: Evidence for the existence of a cage with molecular oxygen

Eylon Yavin, Lev Weiner*, Rina Arad-Yellin, Abraham Shanzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Ruthenium complexes with three bipyridyl ligands, one of which is modified by attaching one or two hydroxamic acids groups (Ru-1 and Ru-2, respectively), were synthesized. Using EPR spectroscopy, we have found that photoexcitation leads to formation of nitroxyl radicals. The nitroxyl radical concentration in Ru-2 increased dramatically in the presence of spin traps DMPO (5,5́-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide) and PBN (N-tert-butyl-α-phenylnitrone) characterized by strong affinity to Superoxide radicals. We have attributed this behavior to the formation of a cage complex between Ru-2 and the Superoxide radical. This paper concerns the study of cages formed between ruthenium complexes and molecular oxygen and the effect of functional groups attached to modified bipyridyl ligands on cage formation. The complex between Ru-2 and O 2 was formed in the ground state, probably with participation of the hydroxamic acid groups. The equilibrium constant of this complex was determined by EPR as K eq ∼ 3 M -1. The formation of the Ru-2-O 2 complex is supported by the temperature-dependent rate of appearance of the EPR signal in the presence of PBN. Additional evidence comes from observation of paramagnetic shifts of the peaks in the 1H NMR spectrum of specific aromatic protons in the substituted bipyridyl ring upon exposure to O 2. Similar shifts were observed in the spectrum of Os-2, with osmium replacing ruthenium. Model compounds with functional groups that replace the hydroxamic acid or compounds without the metal center, but with the two hydroxamic acids, were synthesized. No shifts in the 1H NMR spectra of these derivatives were observed in the presence of O 2. These results lead to the conclusion that both metal ions, Ru(II) or Os(II), and hydroxamic acid groups are essential components for the formation of the oxygen cage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9274-9282
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number42
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


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