Submitted by Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College on Thu, 01/04/2024 - 15:10
My Notes

When I saw this paper come out, I thought it would make a great teaching paper. It has synthesis, characterization, reaction mechanisms, computational chemistry and it directly impacts catalysis by a thorough examination of the reductive elimination reaction. What are the factors governing the rate of C-C RE? Can geometry (sterics) control reactivity or is it only based on the hybridization (sp2/sp3) of the carbon atom in question (electronics)? Unlike most organometallic chemistry, this paper is NOT a subtle interplay of these two factors, but to find out which one wins, you'll have to read the paper and do this activity.

Learning Goals

Students will classify several complexes by the CBC method

Students will explain how NMR (shifts, coupling, satellites) can be used to assign structure in square pyramidal complexes

Students will explore how geometric constraints can affect kinetics

Students will explore the results of high-level theoretical calculations

Students will gain practice using the Eyring equation


Implementation Notes

In my Fall 2023 course, I started with four weeks of lecture and in-class activities exploring the basics of MO theory, ligands, and reactions, before discussing five papers that I chose. This was paper number four, so the students were well-practiced in talking about organometallic chemistry by this time. the last four weeks were discussions of student-chosen papers. 

I assigned this reading guide to students a week in advance of an in-class discussion of the paper. The discussion was wide ranging but generally went through the concepts outlined in the reading guide. I collected the guide after class, allowing students to make additions/corrections based on the class discussion.

Time Required
75 minutes
Evaluation Methods

The reading guide was graded for "completeness" rather than correctness.

Evaluation Results

In general, students were able to capture the relevant information from the paper with little problem. The biggest complaint was the use of calorie units rather than joule units, but as a calorie guy myself, I couldn't agree with them on this point. 

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