This activity is meant to teach students about the types of homogeneous transition metal C-H bond functionalization catalysts. Before class, the students will read a short discussion of inner- and outer-sphere C-H bond functionalization catalysts. Then they will use their knowledge of transition metal oxidation states and ligands in order to assess whether a variety of catalysts react via inner- or outer-sphere pathways. Based on what they know about these catalysts, they will also decide whether or not the selectivity of these catalysts is mainly dictated by the C-H bond strengths of the substrates.
A student should be able to predict
- available oxidation states for metals in a variety of complexes.
- whether a catalyst will undergo one- or two-electron chemistry based on the metal's available oxidation states.
- ligands that will likely directly react with a C-H bond.
- whether or not there are any open coordination sites around a metal center.
- whether a C-H bond functionalization catalyst will react via an inner- or outer-sphere pathway.
- whether the selectivity of a C-H bond functionalization catalyst will be mainly dictated by the C-H bond strengths
in the substrates.
I have not yet attempted to implement this learning object. It is meant for an organometallic or advanced inorganic class.