This acitivty is a foundation level discussion of the Nicolai Lehnert paper, "Mechanism of N-N Bond Formation by Transition Metal-Nitrosyl Complexes: Modeling Flavodiiron Nitric Oxide Reductases". Its focus lies in discussing MO theory as it relates to Lewis structures, as well as an analysis of the strucutre of a literature paper.
Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to:
Write a balanced half reaction for the conversion of NO to N2O and analyze a reaction in terms of bonds broken and bonds formed.
Evaluate the structures of metal complexes to identify coordination number, geometry (reasonable suggestion), ligand denticity, and d-electron count in free FeII/FeIII centers.
Recognize spin multiplicity of metal centers and ligand fragments in a complex.
Interpret a reaction pathway and compare the energy requirements for each step in the reaction.
Draw multiple possible Lewis Structures and use formal charges to determine the best structure.
Draw molecular orbital diagrams for diatomic molecules.
Identify the differences in bonding theories (Lewis vs MO), and be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Interpret calculated MO images as σ or π bonds.
Identify bond covalency by interpreting molecular orbital diagrams and data.
Define key technical terms used in an article.
Analyze the structure of a well written abstract.
Identify the overall research goal(s) of the paper.
Discuss the purposes of the different sections of a scientific paper.
The paper in which this discussion is centered around is very rich in concepts, and will take time for students to digest. As the technical level is higher than most foundation level course, it is strongly recommended that students focus on the structure of the paper, and not the read the entire paper. The discussion is modular with focuses on both MO theory drawn form the paper, as well as a general anatomy of how literature papers are organized and what constitutes a good abstract. Either focus could take a single 50 minute lecture, with two being necessary to complete both aspects. Instructors can choose either focus, or both depending on their course learning goals.
This was developed during the 2018 VIPEr workshop and has not yet been implemented. The above instructions are a guide and any feedback is welcome and appreciated!