Presented by: Sebastian D. Pike & Dr. Amber L. Thompson
Research Leader: Prof. Andrew S. Weller
Transition metal σ-alkane complexes are key intermediates in catalytic C–H activation processes. We have used a direct crystal to crystal transition, by reaction with H2, to produce an alkane σ-complex directly. This structure is of an alkane (norbornane, NBA) σ-bound to a d8–Rh(I) metal centre, in which the chelating alkane ligand is coordinated to the pseudo-square planar metal centre through two σ-C–H bonds. Although disordered (inset), the structure was refined without restraints for the coordinated NBA. The complex reacts further over time, so many attempts were required to “catch” the crystal free from both starting material and final product.