This paper is a meaty communication that covers novel bonding of 4 e- π-donors to a 14-electron species. Requires students to apply their knowledge of electron counting and organometallic bonding to ligands that are acting in novel ways. This also includes exercises dealing with chemical information and general questions that require students to put the science in context.
- Students can explain the electron count in an organometallic π-complex
- Students can explain the molecular orbitals involved in 4 e- π bonding to alkynes and nitriles
- Connect electron count to molecular orbital picture
Application to new situations
- Students can apply their knowledge of organometallic chemistry to explain the structure and bonding in 4 e- complexes of imines, ketones, and aldehydes (using bond lengths etc.)
Broader Perspectives of Science
- Connect the science in the paper to the larger picture, broader interests
- Students locate additional information about articles' authors
- Place work within context of a larger body of work
This would be appropriate to cover after discussing electron counting and simple π bonding and backbonding in organometallic complexes, possibly as a capstone experience for the organometallic section of a course. The number of questions could easily be winnowed down significantly--the current version includes questions about synthesis, chemical information skills (Cambridge Structural Database, SciFinder Scholar), and general questions about the importance of the science.
I graded on the basis of class participation but you could also collect problem sets and grade them individually. With a paper with so many subtleties, I might be tempted to have them submit their answers and then give them a chance to revise them after the in-class discussion.
The students generally did a good job of discussing this paper--the subtleties of the delta backbonding were difficult for them to visualize. It would be helpful to bring orbital models with you to show these interactions in 3-D.