Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tutorial on Oxidative Addition #chempaperaday 245

Organometallics has just started a new series called "Tutorial" where hopefully we will read about fundamental topics in organometallic chemistry. I think this is a really good attempt to educate not only students but all chemists. You will notice that there are several groups which I will call "organic" doing some catalysis using Pd, Ni, Co and Fe with some ligands. So, it is really hard to distinguish an organometallic chemist from an organic chemist just by looking at his publications nowadays. What these organic heavy people lack (I think) is some fundamental knowledge of transition metals. Some people think they can just pick a metal salt (or a M(0) source) and throw it in with hundreds of ligands and expect to see some reactivity. Well, to be honest, this approach does work if you screen hundreds of ligands with hundreds of different reaction conditions using tens of students spending 80 hours/week in the lab. This is one of the biggest reasons that organometallic chemistry is not my favorite. I am on the other side. I like people who design a ligand using the fundamental knowledge about the reaction and the metal they are working with. Let's face it, a lot of reactions only need a Lewis Acid, of course they will be catalyzed by one of the combinations you are using if you try hard enough. My call to them is that instead of using brute force, if they just use some intelligence, I will read their papers.

This first of the series is on oxidative addition by Jay Labinger. I will consider myself among the lucky people who have read his papers (in fact a lot of them!). I have always liked they way they're written and most of the time, I learned from their chemistry. I've finished his book "Review of Up from Generality: How Inorganic Chemistry Finally Became a Respectable Field" and I will write a post about it too.

As I had expected, this tutorial is not only a good starting point for a learner, but it is also a great source for organometallic chemistry enthusiasts. It is full of incredibly useful hints and trends about d-block if you know how to read it. I hope and I wish everyone read it. I am not sure if it's open access, but if I were to decide, I'd keep it open access so that people can learn.

No comments:

Post a Comment