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Liebhäuser, Patricia; Keisers, Kristina; Hoffmann, Alexander; Schnappinger, Thomas; Sommer, Isabella; Thoma, Anne; Wilfer, Claudia; Schoch, Roland; Stührenberg, Kai; Bauer, Matthias; Duerr, Maximilian; Ivanovic-Burmazovic, Ivana and Herres-Pawlis, Sonja (2017): Record Broken: A Copper Peroxide Complex with Enhanced Stability and Faster Hydroxylation Catalysis. In: Chemistry-A European Journal, Vol. 23, No. 50: pp. 12171-12183

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Tyrosinase model systems pinpoint pathways to translating Nature's synthetic abilities for useful synthetic catalysts. Mostly, they use N-donor ligands which mimic the histidine residues coordinating the two copper centres. Copper complexes with bis(pyrazolyl) methanes with pyridinyl or imidazolyl moieties are already reported as excellent tyrosinase models. Substitution of the pyridinyl donor results in the new ligand HC(3-tBuPz)(2)(4-CO2MePy) which stabilises a room-temperature stable mu-eta(2):eta(2)-peroxide dicopper(II) species upon oxygenation. It reveals highly efficient catalytic activity as it hydroxylates 8-hydroxyquinoline in high yields (TONs of up to 20) and much faster than all other model systems (max. conversion within 7.5 min). Stoichiometric reactions with para-substituted sodium phenolates show saturation kinetics which are nearly linear for electron-rich substrates. The resulting Hammett correlation proves the electrophilic aromatic substitution mechanism. Furthermore, density functional theory (DFT) calculations elucidate the influence of the substituent at the pyridinyl donor: the carboxymethyl group adjusts the basicity and nucleophilicity without additional steric demand. This substitution opens up new pathways in reactivity tuning.

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