As the strongest triple bond in nature, the N≡N triple bond activation has always been a challenging project in chemistry. On the other hand, since the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1950, Diels‐Alder reaction has served as a powerful and widely applied tool in the synthesis of natural products and new materials. However, the application of Diels‐Alder reaction to dinitrogen activation remains less developed.
Members of a new class of complexes, 2(CF3), 2(H), 2(Br), 2(I), and 2(OCH3), have been synthesized by a one-pot method involving the treatment of osmanaphthalynes bearing corresponding substituents (1(CF3), 1(H), 1(Br), 1(I), and 1(OCH3) with trimethylphosphine (PMe3) and water (H2O).
Activation of atmospherically abundant dinitrogen (N2) by metal-free species under mild reaction conditions has been one of the most challenging areas in chemistry for decades. Very recent but limited progress in N2 activation by boron species, including two-coordinated borylene and methyleneborane and three-coordinated borole and borane, has been made toward metal-free N2 activation.
The cyclobutane unit is important to prepare complex natural products with biological activity due to the high ring strain. Among various approaches, [2 + 2] cycloaddition is one of the major strategies to prepare cyclobutane under light conditions. Recently, Rajanbabu's group reported tandem catalysis for asymmetric coupling of inactivated ethylene and enynes to functionalized cyclobutenes or cyclobutanes. However, the reaction mechanisms remain unproven.
The Ni‐B complex 1BCF with a facilely accessible monophosphine (PtBu3) unit was theoretically designed, which was found to be more active than that with an ambiphilic ligand for hydrogenation of styrene. Substituting PtBu3 with a stronger electron donating ligand N‐heterocyclic carbene largely improves the activity of the Ni‐B complex.
Selective cleavage of the B–O bond or B–H bond in HBpin can be achieved by adjusting the pincer ligand of a phosphorus(III) compound guided by a combination of theoretical prediction and experimental verification. Theoretical calculations reveal that a pincer-type phosphorus compound with an [ONO]3– ligand reacts with HBpin, leading to cleavage of the stronger B–O bonds (ΔG°⧧ = 23.2 kcal mol–1) rather than the weaker B–H bond (ΔG°⧧ = 26.4 kcal mol–1).
The σ-bond activation by main group element has received enormous attention from theoretical and experimental chemists. Here, the reaction of C-X (X = Cl, Br, I) bonds in benzyl and allyl halides with a pincer-type phosphorus(III) species was reported. A series of structurally robust phosphorus(V) compounds were formed via the formal oxidative addition reactions of C-X bonds to the phosphorus(III) center. Density functional theory calculations show that the nucleophilic addition process is more favorable than the direct oxidative addition mechanism.
Aromaticity and frustrated Lewis pairs (FLP), two important concepts in chemistry, have attracted considerable attention from theoretical and experimental chemists. However, combining these two concepts together for H2 activation is less developed. Herein, we report a density functional theory study on antiaromaticity-promoted H2 splitting. The antiaromatic borole (as Lewis acid) and aromatic pyridine (as Lewis base) were introduced into the cyclooctetraene skeleton. Due to the geometric constraints, such systems can be classified as FLPs.
Isotopic oxygen exchange (IOE) is a crucial reaction required in the purification of 238PuO2 which has been used as an important fuel in space exploration. Experimental studies on the IOE between 238PuO2 and O2 are costly and hazardous due to the radioactivity. With extremely similar crystal structures, CeO2 could be a fair surrogate for 238PuO2 in the investigation of physicochemical properties. Here, we perform density functional theory calculations to simulate the IOE between CeO2 and O2, wherein a heteroexchange mechanism is proposed.
Carbon dioxide (CO2, a common combustion pollutant) releasing continuously into the atmosphere is primarily responsible for the rising atmospheric temperature. Therefore, CO2 sequestration has been an indispensable area of research for the past several decades. On the other hand, the concept of aromaticity is often employed in designing chemical reactions and metal‐free frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) have proved ideal reagents to achieve CO2 reduction. However, considering FLP and aromaticity together is less developed in CO2 capture.