Seminar series
Inorganic Chemistry
Wed, Feb 19 4:00pm
Molecular Sciences 3440
Speaker Andrew Weller
University of York, UK
Department of Chemistry

Abstract: Organometallic synthesis, reactivity and catalysis is traditionally performed in the solution–phase. Although such homogeneous chemistry allows for highly reactive, selective and precisely tuneable organometallic systems, it has its limitations when solvent reacts deleteriously with the desired metal complex, very cold temperatures are required for synthesis (below the freezing point of any suitable solvent) or the lifetime of the targeted complex is shorter than the timescale for analysis (for example growing crystals for single–crystal x-ray diffraction). While heterogeneous systems offer less well–defined active–sites, the microenvironment of the catalyst, or its platform support, can be important in helping control selectivity or catalyst stability. In this contribution the development in our laboratories of Solid–State Molecular Organometallic (SMOM) chemistry and catalysis is presented, in which molecular organometallic complexes are synthesised in the solid–state by single–crystal to single–crystal transformations. The non–covalent interactions in the solid–state microenvironment around the metal prove to be crucial in both directing the course of reaction, and stabilising highly reactive complexes, some of which are essentially impossible to prepare by solution–based routes. The synthesis of a variety of sigma–alkane complexes, and the subsequent C–H activation processes they undergo, will be used to highlight the benefits of this technique in organometallic chemistry and catalysis.