This literature discussion is based on a paper detailing catalytic transfer hydrogenation of various unsaturated organic molecules (Organometallics, 2016, 35, 943). In this paper, two ruthenium compounds with N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands are examined as catalytic precursors for transfer hydrogenation. This LO walks students through the paper, but it does so in a slightly different order than the paper presents the material. In parcticular, the proposed catalytic mechanism appears very late in the paper, but very early in the LO.
Upon completing this LO students should be able to
- Use the CBC method to count electrons in the ruthenium compounds in this paper
- Describe the bonding interactions in a N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligand
- Describe catalytic transfer hydrogenation and identify the reactions taking place in the proposed mechanism
- Examine a series of catalytic results and rationalize observed trends