Submitted by Joanne Stewart / Hope College on Thu, 03/14/2024 - 20:09
My Notes

This literature discussion learning object describes the isolation and structure of tetrabenzylthorium, a molecule that was synthesized many years ago but was never thoroughly characterized. This LO is part of a special VIPEr collection honoring the 2024 ACS National Award recipients in the field of inorganic chemistry. Suzanne C. Bart, Purdue University, was the recipient of the 2024 F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry, supported by an endowed fund established by F. Albert Cotton.

D. M. Ramitha, Y. P. Rupasinghe, Makayla R. Baxter, Matthias Zeller, and Suzanne C. Bart “Isolation and Characterization of Elusive Tetrabenzylthorium Complexes” Organometallics 2023 42 (15), 2079-2086 DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.3c00248

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the history of the tetrabenzylthorium complex
  • Describe beta-hydride elimination in organometallic compounds
  • Rationalize the NMR spectrum of a thorium-benzyl complex
  • Count electrons in a thorium complex using the CBC method
  • Define hapticity and describe the eta-3 and eta-4 geometry of a benzyl complex
Implementation Notes

I would give the students the paper and the questions in advance and then allow students to discuss their answers in small groups. I would make each group responsible for writing the answer to one question on the board and ask them to explain their answer to the class.

Time Required
One 50-minute class period.
Evaluation Methods

I would grade students' written responses to the questions. 

Evaluation Results

I have not taught this LO yet, but I predict that students may struggle with the idea that the benzyl ligand may exhibit different hapticities, and they may struggle with sketching the eta-3 and eta-4 geometries.

Creative Commons License
Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA