Bridging Organometallics and Quantum Chemical Topology: Understanding Electronic Relocalisation During Palladium-Catalyzed Reductive Elimination

Abstract : This article proposes to bridge two fields, namely organometallics and quantum chemical topology. To do so, Palladium-catalyzed reductive elimination is studied. Such reaction is a classical elementary step in organometallic chemistry, where the directionality of electrons delocalization is not well understood. New computational evidences highlighting the accepted mechanism are proposed following a strategy coupling quantum theory of atoms in molecules and electron localization function topological analyses and enabling an extended quantification of donated/back-donated electrons fluxes along reaction paths going beyond the usual Dewar-Chatt-Duncanson model. Indeed, if the ligands coordination mode (phosphine, carbene) is commonly described as dative, it appears that ligands lone pairs stay centered on ligands as electrons are shared between metal and ligand with strong delocalization toward the latter. Overall, through strong trans effects coming from the carbon involved in the reductive elimination, palladium delocalizes its valence electrons not only toward phosphines but interestingly also toward the carbene. As back-donation increases during reductive elimination, one of the reaction key components is the palladium ligands ability to accept electrons. The rationalization of such electronic phenomena gives new directions for the design of palladium-catalyzed systems.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 2:57:59 PM
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Benoit Courcy, Etienne Derat, Jean-Philip Piquemal. Bridging Organometallics and Quantum Chemical Topology: Understanding Electronic Relocalisation During Palladium-Catalyzed Reductive Elimination. Journal of Computational Chemistry, Wiley, 2015, 36 (15), pp.1167-1175. ⟨10.1002/jcc.23911⟩. ⟨hal-01397958⟩

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