Heavy Atom

Heavy-Atom Ligation to 1st Row Transition Metals
Hard-soft theory in inorganic and main group chemistry provides that interactions between two “soft”, heavy atoms is favorable, while the interaction (binding, bonding) between one “soft” element and one “hard” element is unfavorable. While this is generally true, the utilization of polydentate ligands can be used to overcome such unfavorable dispositions.

A number of heavy transition metals such as gold (Au), platinum (Pt), rhodium (Rh), rhenium (Re) and iridium (Ir) are used in large scale energy-related chemical processes like H2 generation, C-H activation and carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction. And while these precious metals exhibit high catalytic activities, their high cost of use and recovery leads to high cost in chemical processing. In contrast, the heavy main group elements are relatively earth abundant and inexpensive.

Our goal is to simulate some of the spectroscopic and reactivity properties of heavy, precious metals by synthesizing a new class of complexes derived from heavy, main group elements bound to the late, 1st row transition metals (Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu). In particular, we are exploring tellurium and antimony chemistry via the preparation of novel, polydentate Te-M and Sb-M bonding motifs.

Related techniques and concepts include main group synthesis, transition metal insertion, X-ray crystallography, organometallic mechanisms, group theory, ligand field theory, and inorganic spectroscopy (UV/vis/NIR, EPR, NMR, magnetics/SQUID).

Relevant Publications

L. V. Taylor, U. H. Soto, V. M. Lynch and M. J. Rose. Antimony-Supported Cu4I4 Cuboid with Short Cu-Cu Bonds: Premise for NIR Thermoluminescence. Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 3206-3208. DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b02933