19 Jul 2012

Literature Discussion on “Mechanisms for the Activation of Carbon Monoxide via Oxorhenium Complexes.”

Literature Discussion

Submitted by Katherine Nicole Crowder, University of Mary Washington

This is intended as a guided reading assignment for the JACS Communication, Mechanism for the Activation of Carbon Monoxide via Oxorhenium Complexes” by Smeltz, Boyle, and Ison; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 13288-13291. This article will expose students to newly published research and novel reaction mechanisms. It will require students to apply their knowledge of electron counting and organometallic mechanisms.

Microsoft Office document icon Ison LitDiscussion LO.doc73 KB
Learning Goals: 

After completing this assignment, the student will be able to

-          Critically evaluate the chemical literature

-          Determine dn electron counts, oxidation states, and overall electron count for a series of oxorhenium complexes

-          Understand mechanistic studies of an organometallic reaction pathway

Implementation Notes: 

Students should be given the paper a week ahead of time. Ideally, this exercise will be a capstone exercise following discussion of organometallic chemistry in class. Questions could be used for exam questions.

We have also included a link below for the paper that contains all of the computational work for the proposed mechanisms in the current article.

Time Required: 
1-2 50 min class periods depending on how many of the questions you want to discuss in class.
Evaluation Methods: 

Could be graded based on participation in class discussion or answers to the questions could be collected and graded. Could also be used as exam questions.

Evaluation Results: 


Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence


I just want to say that this was a fantastic way to wrap up my four days on organometallic chemistry. It was challenging for my students, but we were able to connect lots of ideas. I'm going to post some assesment data soon and an exam question that I'm writing based on the paper (and different from the lit discussions). This activity is a keeper!

I will be doing this activity after Spring Break! Love it.

I used this activity today in my class. The electron counting exercise was fun!  For question 3, which focuses on why the oxo ligand is shown as a triple bond to rhenium, I showed the class an MO diagram that Scott put together for me showing how you can determine the M-O bond order. The diagram, which was beautifully done, shows how the dxy orbital is filled (but nonbonding). You can remove electrons from this orbital, and still have a triple bonded oxo group for d0, d1, d2 systems. (See the attached.)


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