Importance of thorough conformational analysis in modelling transition metal-mediated reactions: Case studies on pincer complexes containing phosphine groups
KAUST DepartmentChemical Science Program
KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC)
Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Online Publication Date2019-08-06
Print Publication Date2019-08
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/656719
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AbstractAdvances in processing capabilities of computer clusters have allowed for the full modeling of organometallic complexes that previously would have been simplified to reduce computational cost. Increased feasibility of computational modeling offers new challenges, not only in terms of limitations of methods and theory, but attention should be paid to complexes that can exist in many conformations, as the appropriate choice of conformer may be easily overlooked. In this work a series of pincer complexes with isopropyl and cyclopentyl substituents have been chosen as examples to demonstrate the importance of conformational analysis. The complexes examined contain four isopropyl or cyclopentyl groups on phosphor atoms generating between 27 and 324 possible rotamers. The importance of conformational search in a mechanistic investigation is demonstrated with the CO2 insertion into a nickel hydride bond of POCOP iPr nickel hydride complex. Results show that the reaction energy profile can be both exergonic and endergonic depending on rotamer choice. Specifically, the POCOPi Pr Ni-formato complex product of the CO2 insertion reaction had an energy difference between the lowest and highest energy rotamer as high as 16.8 kcal/mol. The significant energy differences between rotamers highlight the importance of thorough conformational analysis and should be taken into consideration when evaluating the energy profile of related reactions.
SponsorsThe authors acknowledge the service of Ibex and Shaheen 2 High Performance Computing Facilities and financial support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).