Quantifying and understanding the steric properties of N-heterocyclic carbenes†
This Feature Article presents and discusses the use of different methods to quantify and explore the steric impact of N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands. These include (a) the percent buried volume (%Vbur), which provides a convenient single number to measure steric impact and (b) steric maps, which provide a graphical representation of the steric profile of a ligand using colour-coded contour maps. A critical discussion of the scope and limitations of these tools is presented, along with some examples of their use in organometallic chemistry and catalysis. This Article should provide all users of NHCs, from organic, organometallic, and inorganic chemistry backgrounds, with an appreciation of how these tools can be used to quantify and compare their steric properties.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Most cited articles from 2017, Most cited Features from 2016, 2017 and Most downloaded articles of 2017: Organic and Biological Chemistry