Archive for the ‘Chemistry’ Category

Materials science: Organic analogues of graphene

Chemists have long aspired to synthesize two-dimensional polymers that are fully conjugated — an attribute that imparts potentially useful properties. Just such a material has been prepared using a solid-state polymerization reaction.

Molybdenum chloride catalysts for Z-selective olefin metathesis reactions

The development of catalyst-controlled stereoselective olefin metathesis processes has been a pivotal recent advance in chemistry. The incorporation of appropriate ligands within complexes based on molybdenum, tungsten and ruthenium has led to reactivity and selectivity levels that were previously inaccessible. Here we show that molybdenum monoaryloxide chloride complexes furnish higher-energy (Z) isomers of trifluoromethyl-substituted alkenes through cross-metathesis reactions with the commercially available, inexpensive and typically inert Z-1,1,1,4,4,4-hexafluoro-2-butene. Furthermore, otherwise inefficient and non-stereoselective transformations with Z-1,2-dichloroethene and 1,2-dibromoethene can be effected with substantially improved efficiency and Z selectivity. The use of such molybdenum monoaryloxide chloride complexes enables the synthesis of representative biologically active molecules and trifluoromethyl analogues of medicinally relevant compounds. The origins of the activity and selectivity levels observed, which contradict previously proposed principles, are elucidated with the aid of density functional theory calculations.

Bicomponent Supramolecular Architectures at the Vacuum–Solid Interface

Chemical ReviewsDOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00389

Recent Methodologies That Exploit C–C Single-Bond Cleavage of Strained Ring Systems by Transition Metal Complexes

Chemical ReviewsDOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00599

High-spatial-resolution mapping of catalytic reactions on single particles

The critical role in surface reactions and heterogeneous catalysis of metal atoms with low coordination numbers, such as found at atomic steps and surface defects, is firmly established. But despite the growing availability of tools that enable detailed in situ characterization, so far it has not been possible to document this role directly. Surface properties can be mapped with high spatial resolution, and catalytic conversion can be tracked with a clear chemical signature; however, the combination of the two, which would enable high-spatial-resolution detection of reactions on catalytic surfaces, has rarely been achieved. Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has been used to image and characterize single turnover sites at catalytic surfaces, but is restricted to reactions that generate highly fluorescing product molecules. Herein the chemical conversion of N-heterocyclic carbene molecules attached to catalytic particles is mapped using synchrotron-radiation-based infrared nanospectroscopy with a spatial resolution of 25 nanometres, which enabled particle regions that differ in reactivity to be distinguished. These observations demonstrate that, compared to the flat regions on top of the particles, the peripheries of the particles—which contain metal atoms with low coordination numbers—are more active in catalysing oxidation and reduction of chemically active groups in surface-anchored N-heterocyclic carbene molecules.

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