What is it about?

A ferrous complex with a tridentate ligand having anisole appendage has been synthesized and its structure, spectral and reactivity studies have been carried out. On reaction with O2, the complex underwent metal oxidation resulting in the formation of a diferric oxo complex. In presence of a strong oxidant like t-BuOOH, the oxidation behaviour was strikingly different and the complex underwent oxidative O-demethylation resulting in the formation of a mononuclear Fe(III) complex with phenoxide ligand

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Why is it important?

O-Dealkylation is a well-studied reaction in heme chemistry because of its involvement in the catalytic cycle of certain enzymes. However, O-dealkylation at non-heme centers remained unexplored till 2010. Though Mandon et al. (Inorg. Chem. 2009, 48, 4777–4786) could report oxidative O-demethylation at a ferrous center, the ferric phenoxide product could not be isolated because of its high reactivity. In this report we were successful in stabilizing the FeIII–phenoxide complex and could establish a rare and easy example for less explored O-demethylation at a nonheme FeII center.


The article deals with simple oxidation chemistry of a ferrous complex which gives insight about the oxidation reactions in the biological systems. It was a delight to explore the huge differences in the nature of products obtained when there is a small change in the reaction conditions. We would like to extend the work to other metal complexes and are looking forward for similar exciting results.

Dr Anjana S S

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This page is a summary of: Reagent-Regulated Oxidative O -Demethylation of a Ferrous Complex Stabilized by a Tetradentate N Ligand with a Methoxyphenyl Substituent, European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, February 2018, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201700946.
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