Biomimetic Metal-Oxygen Intermediates in Dioxygen Activation Chemistry

Wonwoo Nam
Ewha Womans University
Nov. 30 16:00~16:45


Dioxygen is essential in life processes, and enzymes activate dioxygen to carry out a variety of biological reactions. One primary goal in biomimetic research is to elucidate structures of reactive intermediates and mechanistic details of dioxygen activation and oxygenation reactions occurring at the active sites of enzymes, by utilizing synthetic metal-oxygen complexes. A growing class of metal-oxygen complexes, such as metal–superoxo, –peroxo, –hydroperoxo, and –oxo species, have been isolated, characterized spectroscopically, and investigated in various oxygenation reactions. During the past decade, we have been studying the chemical and physical properties of various reactive intermediates in oxygenation reactions, such as high-valent iron(IV)- and manganes(V)-oxo complexes of heme and non-heme ligands in oxo-transfer and C-H activation reactions, non-heme metal-peroxo complexes in nucleophilic reactions, and non-heme metal-superoxo complexes in electrophilic reactions. The effects of supporting and axial ligands on structural and spectroscopic properties and reactivities of metal-oxygen adducts have been extensively investigated as well. In this presentation, I will present our recent results on the synthesis and structural and spectroscopic characterization of mononuclear nonheme metal-dioxygen intermediates as well as their reactivities in electrophilic and nucleophilic oxidation reactions.

General References

  1. Wonwoo Nam* “Synthetic Mononuclear Nonheme Iron-Oxygen Intermediates” Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 2415–2423.
  2. Wonwoo Nam,* Yong-Min Lee, and Shunichi Fukuzumi* “Tuning Reactivity and Mechanism in Oxidation Reactions by Mononuclear Nonheme Iron(IV)-Oxo Complexes” Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 1146–1154.
  3. Jaeheung Cho, Ritimukta Sarangi, and Wonwoo Nam* “Mononuclear Metal-O2 Complexes Bearing Macrocyclic TMC Ligands Acc. Chem. Res. 2012, 45, 1321–1330.
  4. Wonwoo Nam* “High-Valent Iron(IV)-Oxo Complexes of Heme and Nonheme Ligands in Oxygenation Reactions” Acc. Chem. Res. 2007, 40, 522–531.
  5. Wonwoo Nam* “Guest Editorial: Dioxygen Activation by Metalloenzymes and Models” Acc. Chem. Res. 2007, 40, 465.



  • 1985-1990, Ph.D. UCLA (Bioinorganic Chemistry)
  • 1981-1985, B.S. California State University, LA (Chemistry)


Professional Career

  • 2005-Present, Ewha Distinguished Professor
  • 1994-Present, Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor, Ewha Womans University
  • 1991-1994, Assistant Professor, Hong Ik University
  • 1990.09-1991.08, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCL

Academic Activity

2011-Present, Associate Editor; Chemical Science (RSC)

  • 2011-Present, Associate Editor; Chemical Science (RSC)
  • 2006-2015, Editorial Advisory Board; Accounts of Chemical Research (ACS)
  • 2012-Present, Editorial Advisory Board; Chemical Communications (RSC)
  • 2013-Present, Editorial Advisory Board; Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers (RSC)
  • 2012-Present, Editorial Advisory Board; Progress in Inorganic Chemistry
  • 2007-Present, Editorial Advisory Board; Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (Elsevier)
  • 2010-Present, Editorial Board; Bioinorganic Reaction Mechanism (John-Wiley & Sons)


Awards and Honors

  • 2017-Present, Jinan University, Honorary Professor
  • 2017-2022, “Qujiang Scholar”, Shaanxi Normal University
  • 2016-2019, “1000 Foreign Experts Program” Provided by Chinese Government
  • 2015-2018, Sun Yat-sen University, Part-time Professor
  • 2015-Present, LICP, Chinese Academy of Science, Honorary Professor
  • 2015-2017, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Professor for the Brain Circulation Project
  • 2012-Present, Nanjing University, Concurrent Professor
  • 2007-Present, University of Hong Kong, Honorary Professor
  • 2002-Present, Junior Fellow and Fellow, Korean Academy of Science and Technology
  • 2014-Present, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • 2015, Tohoku University, Visiting Professor
  • 2015, Korea Science Award (President of Korea)
  • 2015, Excellent Research in Basic Science, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning
  • 2014, Outstanding Achievement Award, Society of Asian Biological Inorganic Chemistry
  • 2008, Named as a Role Model Scientist, Korea Science Foundation
  • 2007-2010, Osaka University, Distinguished Scientist in COE Program
  • 2007, Kyeong-Am Academic Award
  • 2006, The 5th DuPont Science and Technology Award
  • 2006, Korea Chemical Society Award
  • 2005, Monthly Best Scientist Award by Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea
  • 2005 The 1st Ewha Academic Award
  • 2004, Best Research Paper by Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies
  • 2003, Korean Chemical Society Award in Division of Inorganic Chemistry
  • 2000, Young Scientist Award (President of Korea)