Catalytic oxidation of organic substrates by molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide by multistep electron transfer--a biomimetic approach

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2008;47(19):3506-23. doi: 10.1002/anie.200700604.


Oxidation reactions are of fundamental importance in nature, and are key transformations in organic synthesis. The development of new processes that employ transition metals as substrate-selective catalysts and stoichiometric environmentally friendly oxidants, such as molecular oxygen or hydrogen peroxide, is one of the most important goals in oxidation chemistry. Direct oxidation of the catalyst by molecular oxygen or hydrogen peroxide is often kinetically unfavored. The use of coupled catalytic systems with electron-transfer mediators (ETMs) usually facilitates the procedures by transporting the electrons from the catalyst to the oxidant along a low-energy pathway, thereby increasing the efficiency of the oxidation and thus complementing the direct oxidation reactions. As a result of the similarities with biological systems, this can be dubbed a biomimetic approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetics
  • Catalysis
  • Electron Transport
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry*
  • Metals / chemistry*
  • Organic Chemicals / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen / chemistry*


  • Metals
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Oxygen