Novel Low-Coordination Group 14 Compounds and their Applications for the Activation of Small Molecules
It was recently discovered that low-valent main-group (MG) compounds can mimic the behavior of transition metals and activate small molecules, such as H2, CO, CO2, NH3, etc., similarly to transition metals (TM). This discovery is exciting because it provides a new strategy to substitute the rare, expensive, and toxic TM by the widely available and less toxic MG elements, signifying an important step forward towards a more sustainable chemistry. The 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for this general topic.
We have recently synthesized several novel Sn and Ge clusters, such as germa- and tin-cubanes with open sites, and we want to study their ability to activate small molecules. The research combines experiment and theory (using up-to-date quantum mechanics computational methods).
For introduction, see: Nature 2010, 463; Chem. Rev. 2018, 118, 3608-3680
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