School of Chemistry - Research Publications

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    Origin of the different reactivity of the high-valent coinage-metal complexes [(RCuMe3)-Me-iii](-) and [(RAgMe3)-Me-iii](-) (R=allyl)**
    Auth, T ; Stein, CJ ; O'Hair, RAJ ; Koszinowski, K (WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2022-01-07)
    High-valent tetraalkylcuprates(iii) and -argentates(iii) are key intermediates of copper- and silver-mediated C-C coupling reactions. Here, we investigate the previously reported contrasting reactivity of [RMiii Me3 ]- complexes (M=Cu, Ag and R=allyl) with energy-dependent collision-induced dissociation experiments, advanced quantum-chemical calculations and kinetic computations. The gas-phase fragmentation experiments confirmed the preferred formation of the [RCuMe]- anion upon collisional activation of the cuprate(iii) species, consistent with a homo-coupling reaction, whereas the silver analogue primarily yielded [AgMe2 ]- , consistent with a cross-coupling reaction. For both complexes, density functional theory calculations identified one mechanism for homo coupling and four different ones for cross coupling. Of these pathways, an unprecedented concerted outer-sphere cross coupling is of particular interest, because it can explain the formation of [AgMe2 ]- from the argentate(iii) species. Remarkably, the different C-C coupling propensities of the two [RMiii Me3 ]- complexes become only apparent when properly accounting for the multi-configurational character of the wave function for the key transition state of [RAgMe3 ]- . Backed by the obtained detailed mechanistic insight for the gas-phase reactions, we propose that the previously observed cross-coupling reaction of the silver complex in solution proceeds via the outer-sphere mechanism.
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    Mechanism of Deoxygenation and Cracking of Fatty Acids by Gas-Phase Cationic Complexes of Ni, Pd, and Pt
    Parker, K ; Pho, V ; O’Hair, RAJ ; Ryzhov, V (MDPI AG, 2021-05-15)
    Deoxygenation and subsequent cracking of fatty acids are key steps in production of biodiesel fuels from renewable plant sources. Despite the fact that multiple catalysts, including those containing group 10 metals (Ni, Pd, and Pt), are employed for these purposes, little is known about the mechanisms by which they operate. In this work, we utilized tandem mass spectrometry experiments (MSn) to show that multiple types of fatty acids (saturated, mono-, and poly-unsaturated) can be catalytically deoxygenated and converted to smaller hydrocarbons using the ternary metal complexes [(phen)M(O2CR)]+], where phen = 1,10-phenanthroline and M = Ni, Pd, and Pt. The mechanistic description of deoxygenation/cracking processes builds on our recent works describing simple model systems for deoxygenation and cracking, where the latter comes from the ability of group 10 metal ions to undergo chain-walking with very low activation barriers. This article extends our previous work to a number of fatty acids commonly found in renewable plant sources. We found that in many unsaturated acids cracking can occur prior to deoxygenation and show that mechanisms involving group 10 metals differ from long-known charge-remote fragmentation reactions.
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    Selectivity Effects in Bimetallic Catalysis: Role of the Metal Sites in the Decomposition of Formic Acid into H-2 and CO2 by the Coinage Metal Binuclear Complexes [dppmMM(H)](+)
    Zavras, A ; Krstic, M ; Dugourd, P ; Bonacic-Koutecky, V ; O'Hair, RAJ (Wiley, 2017-04-07)
    Design of new bimetallic catalysts requires an understanding of how cooperative effects of the metal sites influences reactivity. Here we show how switching one or both of the silver atoms in binuclear silver hydride cations, [dppmAg2(H)]+ (dppm=1,1‐Bis(diphenylphosphino)‐methane), with all combinations of copper and/or gold maintains selective dehydrogenation of formic acid, enhancing reactivity by up to 2 orders of magnitude. This is a key step in the selective, catalyzed extrusion of carbon dioxide from formic acid, HO2CH, with important applications in hydrogen storage and in situ generation of H2. Decarboxylation of [dppmMM′(O2CH)]+ through collision induced dissociation regenerates [dppmMM′(H)]+. DFT calculations provide insights into these cooperative effects. The copper homobinuclear catalyst performs best overall.
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    Role of Ligand in the Selective Production of Hydrogen from Formic Acid Catalysed by the Mononuclear Cationic Zinc Complexes [(L)Zn(H)](+) (L=tpy, phen, and bpy)
    Piacentino, EL ; Parker, K ; Gilbert, TM ; O'Hair, RAJ ; Ryzhov, V (WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2019-07-25)
    A series of zinc-based catalysts was evaluated for their efficiency in decomposing formic acid into molecular hydrogen and carbon dioxide in the gas phase using quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometry experiments. The effectiveness of the catalysts in the series [(L)Zn(H)]+ , where L=2,2':6',2''-terpyridine (tpy), 1,10-phenanthroline (phen) or 2,2'-bipyrydine (bpy), was found to depend on the ligand used, which turned out to be fundamental in tuning the catalytic properties of the zinc complex. Specifically, [(tpy)Zn(H)]+ displayed the fastest reaction with formic acid proceeding by dehydrogenation to produce the zinc formate complex [(tpy)Zn(O2 CH)]+ and H2 . The catalysts [(L)Zn(H)]+ are reformed by decarboxylating the zinc formate complexes [(L)Zn(O2 CH)]+ by collision-induced dissociation, which is the only reaction channel for each of the ligands used. The decarboxylation reaction was found to be reversible, since the zinc hydride complexes [(L)Zn(H)]+ react with carbon dioxide yielding the zinc formate complex. This reaction was again substantially faster for L=tpy than L=phen or bpy. The energetics and mechanisms of these processes were modelled using several levels of density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Experimental results are fully supported by the computational predictions.
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    Gas-phase functionalized carbon-carbon coupling reactions catalyzed by Ni (II) complexes
    Piacentino, EL ; Rodriguez, E ; Parker, K ; Gilbert, TM ; O'Hair, RAJ ; Ryzhov, V (WILEY, 2019-06-01)
    Gas-phase C-C coupling reactions mediated by Ni (II) complexes were studied using a linear quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer. Ternary nickel cationic carboxylate complexes, [(phen)Ni (OOCR1 )]+ (where phen = 1,10-phenanthroline), were formed by electrospray ionization. Upon collision-induced dissociation (CID), they extrude CO2 forming the organometallic cation [(phen)Ni(R1 )]+ , which undergoes gas-phase ion-molecule reactions (IMR) with acetate esters CH3 COOR2 to yield the acetate complex [(phen)Ni (OOCCH3 )]+ and a C-C coupling product R1 -R2 . These Ni(II)/phenanthroline-mediated coupling reactions can be performed with a variety of carbon substituents R1 and R2 (sp3 , sp2 , or aromatic), some of them functionalized. Reaction rates do not seem to be strongly dependent on the nature of the substituents, as sp3 -sp3 or sp2 -sp2 coupling reactions proceed rapidly. Experimental results are supported by density functional theory calculations, which provide insights into the energetics associated with the C-C bond coupling step.
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    Unimolecular reactivity of organotrifluoroborate anions, RBF3-, and their alkali metal cluster ions, M(RBF3)(2)(-) (M = Na, K; R = CH3, CH3CH2, CH3(CH2)(3), CH3(CH2)(5), c-C3H5, C6H5, C6H5CH2, CH2CHCH2, CH2CH, C6H5CO)
    Bathie, FLB ; Bowen, CJ ; Hutton, CA ; O'Hair, RAJ (WILEY, 2018-07-15)
    RATIONALE: Potassium organotrifluoroborates (RBF3 K) are important reagents used in organic synthesis. Although mass spectrometry is commonly used to confirm their molecular formulae, the gas-phase fragmentation reactions of organotrifluoroborates and their alkali metal cluster ions have not been previously reported. METHODS: Negative-ion mode electrospray ionization (ESI) together with collision-induced dissociation (CID) using a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer were used to examine the fragmentation pathways for RBF3- (where R = CH3 , CH3 CH2 , CH3 (CH2 )3 , CH3 (CH2 )5 , c-C3 H5 , C6 H5 , C6 H5 CH2 , CH2 CHCH2 , CH2 CH, C6 H5 CO) and M(RBF3 )2- (M = Na, K), while density functional theory (DFT) calculations at the M06/def2-TZVP level were used to examine the structures and energies associated with fragmentation reactions for R = Me and Ph. RESULTS: Upon CID, preferentially elimination of HF occurs for RBF3- ions for systems where R = an alkyl anion, whereas R- formation is favoured when R = a stabilized anion. At higher collision energies loss of F- and additional HF losses are sometimes observed. Upon CID of M(RBF3 )2- , formation of RBF3- is the preferred pathway with some fluoride transfer observed only when M = Na. The DFT-calculated relative thermochemistry for competing fragmentation pathways is consistent with the experiments. CONCLUSIONS: The main fragmentation pathways of RBF3- are HF elimination and/or R- loss. This contrasts with the fragmentation reactions of other organometallate anions, where reductive elimination, beta hydride transfer and bond homolysis are often observed. The presence of fluoride transfer upon CID of Na(RBF3 )2- but not K(RBF3 )2- is in agreement with the known fluoride affinities of Na+ and K+ and can be rationalized by Pearson's HSAB theory.
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    How to Translate the [LCu2(H)](+)-Catalysed Selective Decomposition of Formic Acid into H-2 and CO2 from the Gas Phase into a Zeolite.
    Krstic, M ; Jin, Q ; Khairallah, GN ; O'Hair, RAJ ; Bonacic-Koutecky, V (WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2018-03-07)
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    Synthesis and X-Ray Crystallographic Characterisation of Frustum-Shaped Ligated [Cu18H16(DPPE)(6)](2+) and [Cu16H14(DPPA)(6)](2+) Nanoclusters and Studies on Their H-2 Evolution Reactions
    Li, J ; Ma, HZ ; Reid, GE ; Edwards, AJ ; Hong, Y ; White, JM ; Mulder, RJ ; O'Hair, RAJ (WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2018-02-09)
    We report new structural motifs for Cu nanoclusters that conceptually represent seed crystals for large face-centred cubic (FCC) crystal growth. Kinetically controlled syntheses, high resolution mass spectrometry experiments for determination of the dication formulae and crystallographic characterisation were carried out for [Cu18 H16 (DPPE)6 ][BF4 ][Cl] (DPPE=bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane) and [Cu16 H14 (DPPA)6 ][(BF4 )2 ] (DPPA=bis(diphenylphosphino)amine) polyhydrido nanoclusters, which feature the unprecedented bifrustum and frustum metal-core architecture in metal nanoclusters. The Cu18 nanocluster contains two Cu9 frustum cupolae and the Cu16 nanocluster has one Cu9 frustum cupola and a Cu7 distorted hexagonal-shape base. Gas-phase experiments revealed that both Cu18 H16 and Cu16 H14 cores can spontaneously release H2 upon removal of one bisphosphine capping ligand.
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    Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry: 50 Years on
    O'Hair, RAJ (SPRINGER, 2016-11-01)