Thursday, February 1, 2024 - 3:30pm

Abstract: Cubane-type iron-sulfur clusters are some of nature’s most ancient and versatile cofactors. However, seemingly simple, their main function is electron transfer, that can be coupled to proton transfers. While being ubiquitous in enzymatic systems, a few significant functions remained to be modeled using synthetic molecular mimics. In this talk, we will introduce the use of synthetic Fe4S4 clusters acting as concerted proton electron transfer (CPET) mediators for electrocatalytic metal hydride generation, exploited in the context of CO2 reduction.Further exploring bio-inspired strategies for electron transfers and storage, we will report here the preparation of the first complete redox series of Fe4S4 complexes that covers all oxidation states accessible by one-electron transformations of the individual Fe-atoms ([Fe4S4]4+-[Fe4S4]0). The redox potential of Fe4S4 cubanes is often conceived as a static parameter, which fails to explain some of Nature’s more elaborate electron transfer mechanisms, particularly conformationally gated ones. Further replicating the modulation of electric fields in enzymatic systems with our synthetic models, we will present here the case of a synthetic Fe4S4(SR)4 model complex exhibiting dynamic redox potentials on-demand. This can be used to control the occurrence of formerly “uphill” electron transfers similar to these observed in Fe4S4-containing ATPases, archerases.


Victor Mougel


ETH Zurich


RH 104