Literature Discussion of "A stable compound of helium and sodium at high pressure"

Submitted by Nicole Crowder / University of Mary Washington on Sat, 06/03/2017 - 11:26

This paper describes the synthesis of a stable compound of sodium and helium at very high pressures. The paper uses computational methods to predict likely compounds with helium, then describe a synthetic protocol to make the thermodynamically favored Na2He compound. The compound has a fluorite structure and is an electride with the delocalization of 2e- into the structure.

This paper would be appropriate after discussion of solid state structures and band theory.

The questions are divided into categories and have a wide range of levels.

An ion exchange method to produce metastable wurtzite metal sulfide nanocrystals

Submitted by Janet Schrenk / University of Massachusetts Lowell on Sat, 06/03/2017 - 11:25

In this literature discussion, students use a paper from the literature to explore the synthesis, structure, characterization (powder XRD, EDS and TEM) and energetics associated with the production of a metastable wurtzite CoS phase. Students also are asked define key terms and acronyms used in the paper; identify the goal of the experiments and determine if the authors met their goal. They examine the fundamental concepts around the key crystal structures available.  


Ligand based reductive elimination from a thorium compound

This literature discussion is based on a paper describing the ligand-based reductive elimination of a diphosphine from a thorium compound (Organometallics2017, ASAP). The thorium compound contains two bidentate NHC ligands providing an opportunity to discuss the coordination of these ligands. The ligand-based reduction is very subtle and would be challenging for students to pick up without some guidance. The compound undergoing reductive elimination also presents an excellent introduction into magnetic nonequivalence and virtual coupling.

Chip Nataro / Lafayette College Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:52

Johnson Matthew Catalytic Reaction Guide

Submitted by Sheila Smith / University of Michigan- Dearborn on Tue, 04/11/2017 - 12:11

This guide, available in print, online and in an app, allows users to look up appropriate catalysts and conditions to accomplish a wide variety of reactions.


Experimenting with Danger- CSB safety Video

Submitted by Sheila Smith / University of Michigan- Dearborn on Thu, 03/02/2017 - 12:19

This 2011 video by the Chemical Safety Board is a very serious and moving motivation for adopting safe practices in the chemical laboratory.  It focuses on two recent and very real safety issues in University labs (UCLA, 2008 and TTU, 2010 ), both of which have shaken the educational research community to result in positive change. 

I have shared a "SafeShare" link so that you will not have to listen to ads, and if you choose to play the link in your classroom, you will not see all the Youtube ads on the screen.  

Diverting Wilkinson's Catalyst: Critical Analysis of a Literature Paper

Submitted by Matt Whited / Carleton College on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 18:52

This LO is a problem-set-style literature discussion that leads students through a critical analysis of an interesting but flawed paper from the recent chemical literature.  Students use the questions to help them work through the paper prior to class, providing plenty of raw material for an in-class discussion about various aspects of the work from a mechanistic organometallic perspective.  The questions help students critically analyze substrate tables, spectroscopic data, and computational results from DFT.

Iron Catalysts for Lactide Polymerization

Submitted by Anthony L. Fernandez / Merrimack College on Fri, 01/27/2017 - 21:11

This set of questions is intended to guide students through an excellent article by Jeff Byers and co-workers that describes the us

Guiding questions for: Redox-Controlled Polymerization of Lactide Catalyzed by Bis(imino)pyridine Iron Bis(alkoxide) Complexes

Submitted by Abby O'Connor / The College of New Jersey on Fri, 01/27/2017 - 13:37

This is a literature assignment for a junior/senior level course. Guiding questions are provided to assist students with reading the article so that they see the value and importance of developing catalysts for polymerization reactions. This assignment is based upon the article 

Synthesis and reactivity of palladium and platinum carbenes

Submitted by Chip Nataro / Lafayette College on Wed, 01/25/2017 - 11:32

The literature discussion is based on a paper (Organometallics ASAP) in which the synthesis and reactivity of a palladium and platinum carbene compound. The palladium and platinum compounds exhibit some interesting differences that show up throughout the paper.