Experimental and Computational Study of β-H Transfer between Cobalt(I) Alkyl Complexes and 1-Alkenes

Bis(imino)pyridine cobalt(I) alkyl complexes react with 1-alkenes by β-hydrogen transfer, providing a model reaction for the study of a commonly encountered chain transfer process in polymerization and oligomerization catalysis. The influence of steric effects on reaction rates is described. The theoretical models largely agree with the experimentally determined structures, provide a more detailed view of the species involved, and are consistent with the observed reactivities. Both experiment and theory support a stepwise pathway involving a cobalt-hydride intermediate.