Metal-Ligand Cooperative Synthesis of Benzonitrile by Electrochemical Reduction and Photolytic Splitting of Dinitrogen

Florian Schendzielorz, Markus Finger, Josh Abbenseth, Christian Würtele, Vera Krewald, Sven Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal nitrogen fixation relies on strong reductants to overcome the extraordinarily large N−N bond energy. Photochemical strategies that drive N2 fixation are scarcely developed. Here, the synthesis of a dinuclear N2-bridged complex is presented upon reduction of a rhenium(III) pincer platform. Photochemical splitting into terminal nitride complexes is triggered by visible light. Clean nitrogen transfer with benzoyl chloride to free benzamide and benzonitrile is enabled by cooperative 2 H+/2 e transfer of the pincer ligand. A three-step cycle is demonstrated for N2 to nitrile fixation that relies on electrochemical reduction, photochemical N2-splitting and thermal nitrogen transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-834
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number3
Early online date7 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2019


  • electrochemistry
  • nitrogen fixation
  • photochemistry
  • pincer ligands
  • rhenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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