Dinitrogen (N2) activation is particularly challenging under ambient conditions because of its large highest occupied molecular orbital-lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (HOMO-LUMO) gap (10.8 eV) and high bond dissociation energy (945 kJ mol–1) of the NΞN triple bond, attracting considerable attention from both experimental and theoretical chemists. However, most effort has focused on metallic systems. In contrast, nitrogen activation by frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) has been initiated recently via theoretical calculations.
For decades, N2 activation and functionalization have required the use of transition metal complexes. Thus, it is one of the most challenging projects to activate the abundant dinitrogen through metal-free systems under mild conditions. Here, we demonstrate a proof-of-concept study on the catalytic hydrogenation of dinitrogen (with an activation energy as low as 15.3 kcal mol -1 ) initiated by a dual Lewis acid (DLA) via density functional theory (DFT) calculations.
Dinitrogen activation under mild conditions is important but extremely challenging due to the inert nature of the N-N triple bond evidenced by high bond dissociation energy (945 kJ/mol) and large HOMO-LUMO gap (10.8 eV). In comparison with largely developed transition metal systems, the reported main group species on dinitrogen activation are rare. Here, we carry out density functional theory calculations on methyleneboranes to understand the reaction mechanisms of their dinitrogen activation.
Activation of atmospherically abundant dinitrogen (N2) under mild conditions has been a great challenge in chemistry for decades because of the significantly strong N≡N triple bond. The traditional strategy of N2 activation was mainly limited to metallic species until the ground-breaking achievement of N2 activation by two-coordinated borylenes was achieved experimentally in 2018. On the other hand, carborane derivatives have attracted considerable interest for small-molecule activation. Still, the utilization of carborane derivatives in N2 activation remains elusive.
Activation of thermodynamically stable and kinetically inert dinitrogen (N2) has been a great challenge due to a significantly strong triple bond. Recently, the experimental study on the N2 activation by boron species, a highly reactive two-coordinated borylene, broke through the limitation of traditional strategy of N2 activation by metal species. Still, the study on metal-free N2 activation remains undeveloped.
Dinitrogen (N2) activation is particularly challenging due to the significantly strong N≡N bond, let alone the catenation of two N2 molecules. Recent experimental study shows that cyclic (alkyl)(amino)carbene (CAAC)-stabilized borylenes are able to tackle N2 activation and coupling below room temperature. Here we carry out density functional theory calculations to explore the corresponding reaction mechanisms. The results indicate that the reaction barrier for the dinitrogen activation by the first borylene is slightly higher than that by the second borylene.
Due to the high bond dissociation energy (945 kJ mol–1) and the large highest occupied molecular orbital–lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (HOMO–LUMO) gap (10.8 eV), dinitrogen activation under mild conditions is extremely challenging. On the other hand, the conventional Haber–Bosch ammonia synthesis under harsh conditions consumes more than 1% of the world’s annual energy supply. Thus, it is important and urgent to develop an alternative approach for dinitrogen activation under mild conditions.
Due to consumption of more than 2% of the world's annual energy supply by Haber–Bosch process and the strongest triple bond (N≡N) in nature, directly coupling N 2 with small molecules is particularly important and challenging, let alone in a catalytic fashion. Here we first demonstrate that a NNN-type pincer phosphorus complex could act as a catalyst to couple dinitrogen with a series of small molecules including carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, N-ethylidenemethylamine, and acetonitrile in the presence of diborane(4) under a mild condition by theoretical calculations.
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.
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.