In this project, the binding energy of metal complexes with N2 will be investigated. Low-pressure ion–molecule equilibria can be measured in the cryogenically cooled trap of an FT-ICR mass spectrometer.  The measurement of different metal centers complexed with anionic porphyrin ligands (such as TPPS) will be carried out, comparing key metals known to activate N2 (e.g. Fe, which is present in nitrogenase enzymes) with those known to bind N2 in the gas phase (e.g. Cu). Subsequent work will investigate N2 binding to metal clusters, such as anionic Fe-S systems (e.g. generated from iron carbonyl complexes ). Along with hydrogen addition, N2 binding represents an important catalytic step in the production of ammonia.
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