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2s + 2s reactions at transition metals

Steigerwald, Michael L. (1984) 2s + 2s reactions at transition metals. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


A study of the suprafacial 2 + 2 reaction at transition metal centers is presented. It is demonstrated that this reaction is allowed and proceeds with a low activation energy if the reacting transition metal-to-substituent bond is covalent, nonpolar, and has a large component at transition nickel d-orbital character. These chains are evinced by examination of 2s + 2s reactions at M-H bonds. Those systems in which M can use d orbitals show lower barriers to the 2s + 2s reaction than those in which M cannot use d orbitals.

The importance of the electronic structure of the metal-to-substituent bond is highlighted by a study of dichorotitanacyclopropane. This molecule, being a metallacyclopropane, can undergo 2s + 2s reactions which one unavailable to a simple olefin.

Studies concerning the importance of 2s + 2s reactivity in the organic chemistry of nickel, and in the Ziegler-Natta polymerization of simple olefins are presented.

It is suggested that the principle of maximum bonding (the Woodward-Hoffmann rules) implies the conservation of transition metal covalency in low-energy catalytic cycles.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Committee:
  • Grubbs, Robert H. (chair)
  • Goddard, William A.
Defense Date:12 September 1983
Record Number:etd-01032007-142600
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:03 Jan 2007
Last Modified:25 Dec 2012 14:57

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