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Ahmad, Shah Masood (2019) Filling the Structure-Reactivity Gap: in silico approaches to rationalize the design of molecular catalysts. [Ph.D. thesis]

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Abstract (italian or english)

The design of molecular catalysts is an ambitious task implying the fundamental issue of relating the molecular structure to the reactivity, i.e., to the catalytic activity. The rationalization of the experimental data is often not straightforward and mechanistic schemes are not transferrable when the conditions of the process are changed or the catalyst is modified even slightly. Computer-aided investigations proved to be a more and more valid support in the last decade, but in most of the cases the aim is limited to investigate in detail the catalytic mechanism of a specific reaction and no general conclusions are drawn that can be used as a guide for designing novel catalysts for the same or analogous processes.
In this Project, a computational approach has been set up to investigate the family of organometallic complexes displaying catalytic activity toward [2+2+2] cycloadditions of unsaturated molecules. In a recent book (Transition-metal-mediated aromatic ring construction, John Wiley & Sons, 2013, Chapter 4), Ken Tanaka describes Rhodium mediated [2+2+2] cycloadditions and writes ‘…Although mechanistic aspects of these reactions attract interest, only a few studies have been reported in specific catalysts and substrates…’. Thus this project, abbreviated with the acronym of STREGA (Filling the Structure-Reactivity Gap: in silico approaches to rationalize the design of molecular catalysts), aims at filling the gap between the goldmine of experimental data on this class of very important reactions and their mechanistic rationalization with the purpose of outlining the essential electronic and structural features of the catalyst leading to optimal performance, selectivity, and product yield.
In particular, the roles of different metal, different ancillary ligands, different aromatic ligands, and substrates have been accurately investigated; existing data from the literature were also employed for this analysis. Larger polycyclic ligands can in principle host more than a metal center; for example, Cr can be coordinated to the benzene moiety of a rhodium indenyl complex. This might lead to interesting inter metal cooperative effects which might enhance or inhibit the catalytic activity; thus bimetallic catalysts have been considered. The effect of different cooperative metal nuclei was explored changing from Cr to Mo and W, which all belong to Group 6. Finally, the role of the polycyclic aromatic ligand was investigated and found that indeed it is an important factor since it influences rhodium hapticity and consequently its reactivity. All these results allowed to establish a solid structure-activity relationship which is of general validity for rhodium half-sandwich catalysts towards alkyne [2+2+2] cycloadditions and likely is transferrable to analogous Co, Ru, and Ir based fragments.


EPrint type:Ph.D. thesis
Tutor:Orian, Laura
Ph.D. course:Ciclo 32 > Corsi 32 > SCIENZE MOLECOLARI > SCIENZE CHIMICHE
Data di deposito della tesi:26 November 2019
Anno di Pubblicazione:26 November 2019
Key Words:Acetylene [2+2+2] cycloaddition, DFT calculations, Rh, Cr, Mo, W, turnover frequency (TOF), activation strain analysis (ASA), energy decomposition analysis (EDA), half-sandwich complexes, indenyl effect, metal slippage, slippage span model.
Settori scientifico-disciplinari MIUR:Area 03 - Scienze chimiche > CHIM/02 Chimica fisica
Struttura di riferimento:Dipartimenti > Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche
Codice ID:12096
Depositato il:02 Feb 2021 10:33
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