This paper (Gayen, F.R.; Ali, A.A.; Bora, D.; Roy, S.; Saha, S.; Saikia, L.; Goswamee, R.L. and Saha, B. Dalton Trans. 2020, 49, 6578) describes the synthesis, characterization and catalytic activity of a copper complex with a ferrocene-containing Schiff base ligand. The article is relatively short but packed with information. However, many of the details that are assumed knowledge in the article make for wonderful questions some of which I hope I have captured. The LO includes electron counting using the CBC method, d-orbital splitting, Latimer diagrams and interpretation of catalytic results. There are also opportunities to discuss green chemical practices.
A student should be able
determine the electro count and metal valence in the catalyst
use group theory to determine the number of IR active vibrations in the catalyst
discuss green chemical principles in relation to this article
interpret data from tables and draw conclusions from that data
suggest an additional catalytic experiment that could be performed
I like the question invoking a Latimer Diagram to get students to rationalize why the copper(I) active catalyst was not isolated. I also enjoyed sneaking in a group theory question. But my favorite quesiton is the last one in which students are asked to go beyond what it presented in the paper and suggest another catalytic reaction to perform. There are some aspects of the paper that were not covered in-depth. In particular the XPS seemed to be a rabbit hole I opted not to go down. The authors do not go into great detail on this topic and perhaps there is a question that could be included, but I opted not to. I also opted not to include anything about the bonding in ferrocene which can be found in many of my other LOs. Also on this list one might include UV-Vis spectroscopy and the computational studies.
I have not used this in class yet, but anticipate updating this after the fall 2020 semester. This comes as a result of the June 9th LO party.