Date: December 2007
Creator: Barakat, Khaldoon A.
Description: Computational techniques were employed to investigate pathways that would improve the properties and characteristics of transition metal (i.e., ruthenium) catalysts, and to explore their mechanisms. The studied catalytic pathways are particularly relevant to catalytic hydroarylation of olefins. These processes involved the +2 to +3 oxidation of ruthenium and its effect on ruthenium-carbon bond strengths, carbon-hydrogen bond activation by 1,2-addition/reductive elimination pathways appropriate to catalytic hydrogen/deuterium exchange, and the possible intermediacy of highly coordinatively unsaturated (e.g., 14-electron) ruthenium complexes in catalysis. The calculations indicate a significant decrease in the Ru-CH3 homolytic bond dissociation enthalpy for the oxidation of TpRu(CO)(NCMe)(Me) to its RuIII cation through both reactant destabilization and product stabilization. This oxidation can thus lead to the olefin polymerization observed by Gunnoe and coworkers, since weak RuIII-C bonds would afford quick access to alkyl radical species. Calculations support the experimental proposal of a mechanism for catalytic hydrogen/deuterium exchange by a RuII-OH catalyst. Furthermore, calculational investigations reveal a probable pathway for the activation of C-H bonds that involves phosphine loss, 1,2-addition to the Ru-OH bond and then reversal of these steps with deuterium to incorporate it into the substrate. The presented results offer the indication for the net addition of aromatic C-H ...
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