A literature discussion based on an interesting paper from Bernhard and Albrecht about a catalytic water oxidation promoted by irdium complexes featuring abnormal/mesoionic NHC ligands.
I used this in an upper-level Organometallics course after discussing NHC ligands in class.
The students should read and understand a communication from the chemical literature.
The students should be able to search the literature to find the accepted mechanism for Ir water oxidation.
The students should research and learn about water spitting/water oxidation.
The students should be able to explain the bonding, oxidation state, and electron counting for the NHC complexes described in the paper.
The students should understand how the slight differences in the complexes described lead to slightly different catatlytic activity
The students should learn the features of click chemistry.
The students should learn and understand TON and TOF.
I provided the questions one week before and I facilitated the discussion of the paper during one whole class period.
I evaluated students informally, mostly by participation. For the relevant questions I had volunteers go the board to write our stuctures.
My students seemed to have a good understanding of the paper before the discussion, especailly for the questions that required doing a little research to find a "textbook" answer. All were well prepared to answer mutiple questions.
The discussion uncovered a few areas that required some longer discussions, especially the role of silver in the synthesis of the complexes and understanding the 1H NMR data (restricted rotation of benzyl).
Students seemed to like the paper's application to the interesting and important topic of water oxidation.