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Do Spin State Changes Matter in Organometallic Chemistry? A Computational Study

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journal contribution
posted on 12.05.2004, 00:00 authored by José-Luis Carreón-Macedo, Jeremy N. Harvey
Spin changes occur often in organometallic chemistry, and their effect on kinetics is not well understood. We report computations on the singlet and triplet potential energy surfaces of several processes of this type and show that the topology of the individual surfaces, as well as of the crossing regions between them, can be used to rationalize the observed reactivity in all cases. In particular, the slow addition of dihydrogen to W[N(CH2CH2NSiMe3)3]H (Schrock, R. R.; Shih, K. Y.; Dobbs, D. A.; Davis, W. M. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1995, 117, 6609) is shown to be a “spin-blocked” reaction with a high barrier due to the crossing between reactant triplet and product singlet surfaces. In contrast, addition of CO to TpCo(CO) (Detrich, J. L.; Reinaud, O. M.; Rheingold, A. L.; Theopold, K. H. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1995, 117, 11745) is fast because the triplet and singlet surfaces cross at low energy. Particular care is taken to use DFT methods which are in adequate agreement with experimental and high-level computational energetics for these systems.