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 bonds across a RuII-OH bond in a process that although thermodynamically unfavorable is kinetically accessible. Calculations support experimental proposals as to the possibility of binding of weakly coordinating ligands such as dinitrogen, methylene chloride and fluorobenzene to the "14-electron" complex [(PCP)Ru(CO)]+ in preference to the formation of agostic Ru-H-C interactions. Reactions of [(PCP)Ru(CO)(1-ClCH2Cl)][BAr'4] with N2CHPh or phenylacetylene yielded conversions that are exothermic to both terminal carbenes and vinylidenes, respectively, and then bridging isomers of these by C-C bond formation resulting from insertion into the Ru-Cipso bond of the phenyl ring of PCP. The QM/MM and DFT calculations on full complexes ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Barakat, Khaldoon A.
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation