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Issue 20, 2011
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Tuning the Laplaza-Cummins 3-coordinate M[N(R)Ph]3 catalyst to activate and cleave CO2

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Abstract

The Laplaza-Cummins catalyst L3Mo (L = N(R)Ar), is experimentally inactive towards carbon dioxide. Previous theoretical analysis identified the cause for this inactivity and suggested that a switch to a d2 transition metal may induce activity towards the inert CO2 molecule. In this manuscript we have tested this hypothesis by altering the central metal to Ta, Nb or V. Our calculations suggest that the tantalum analogue, TaL3, will successfully bind to CO2 in a mononuclear η2 arrangement and, importantly, will strongly activate one C–O bond to a point where spontaneous C–O cleavage occurs. This prediction of a strongly exothermic reaction takes into consideration the initial barrier to formation, spin crossings, ligand bulk and even the choice of density functional in the calculations. The Nb analogue will likely coordinate CO2 but reaction may not proceed further. In contrast, the V analogue faces an initial coordination barrier and is not expected to be sufficiently active to coordinate CO2 to the triamide catalyst. A similar scenario exists for mixed metal interactions involving a d2 and d4 combination in a bridging dinuclear arrangement.

Graphical abstract: Tuning the Laplaza-Cummins 3-coordinate M[N(R)Ph]3 catalyst to activate and cleave CO2

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jan 2011, accepted on 24 Mar 2011 and first published on 14 Apr 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1DT10026B
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2011,40, 5569-5578
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    Tuning the Laplaza-Cummins 3-coordinate M[N(R)Ph]3 catalyst to activate and cleave CO2

    N. J. Brookes, A. Ariafard, R. Stranger and B. F. Yates, Dalton Trans., 2011, 40, 5569
    DOI: 10.1039/C1DT10026B

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