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Manganese–Cobalt Oxido Cubanes Relevant to Manganese-Doped Water Oxidation Catalysts


Incorporation of Mn into an established water oxidation catalyst based on a Co(III)4O4 cubane was achieved by a simple and efficient assembly of permanganate, cobalt(II) acetate, and pyridine to form the cubane oxo cluster MnCo3O4(OAc)5py3 (OAc = acetate, py = pyridine) (1-OAc) in good yield. This allows characterization of electronic and chemical properties for a manganese center in a cobalt oxide environment, and provides a molecular model for Mn-doped cobalt oxides. The electronic properties of the cubane are readily tuned by exchange of the OAc- ligand for Cl- (1-Cl), NO3- (1-NO3), and pyridine ([1-py]+). EPR spectroscopy, SQUID magnetometry, and DFT calculations thoroughly characterized the valence assignment of the cubane as [MnIVCoIII3]. These cubanes are redox-active, and calculations reveal that the Co ions behave as the reservoir for electrons, but their redox potentials are tuned by the choice of ligand at Mn. This MnCo3O4 cubane system represents a new class of easily prepared, versatile, and redox-active oxido clusters that should contribute to an understanding of mixed-metal, Mn-containing oxides.

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