Metal K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) has been extensively applied to bioinorganic chemistry to obtain geometric structure information on metalloprotein and biomimetic model complex active sites by analyzing the higher energy extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) region of the spectrum. In recent years, focus has been on developing methodologies to interpret the lower energy K-pre-edge and rising-edge regions (XANES) and using it for electronic structure determination in complex bioinorganic systems. In this review, the evolution and progress of 3d-transition metal K-pre-edge and rising-edge methodology development is presented with particular focus on applications to bioinorganic systems. Applications to biomimetic transition metal-O2 intermediates (M = Fe, Co, Ni and Cu) are reviewed, which demonstrate the power of the method as an electronic structure determination technique and its impact in understanding the role of supporting ligands in tuning the electronic configuration of transition metal-O2 systems.
Keywords: Bioinorganic chemistry; Electronic structure; Metal K-edge; Transition metal–dioxygen complexes; X-ray absorption spectroscopy.