Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Snapshots of chemical reactions: Characterizing an important reactive intermediate

01.10.2014

An international group of researchers led by Dr. Warren E. Piers (University of Calgary) and Dr. Heikki M. Tuononen (University of Jyväskylä) has been able to isolate and characterize an important chemical intermediate whose existence has, so far, only been inferred from indirect experimental evidence.

Chemical reactions rarely go from starting materials to final products in one single step, but instead they progress through a number of intermediates. In many cases the intermediates are not stable enough to be studied by conventional characterization methods, which thwarts efforts to understand reaction mechanisms.


Formation of the reactive borane-silane adduct at -80 Celsius is indicated by a color change.

Credit: © Adrian Houghton. Artistic impression of the adduct © Akseli Mansikkamäki

In the present case, the research group of Dr. Piers was able to undertake a comprehensive solution and solid-state characterization of an adduct between a Lewis acidic perfluoroarylborane and an electron-rich silane that has been postulated to be an intermediate in the 'frustrated' Lewis-pair hydrosilylation of C=C, C=O and C=N double bonds.

"The results of this paper are important because we now know more about the mechanistic details of a significant chemical reaction," says Dr. Piers, a Tier I Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary. "It is like travelling along the trans-Canada highway from Victoria to St. John's always blindfolded and finally being able to see the Rockies along the way: a breathtaking moment," he explains.

However, characterizing an important reaction intermediate is only half of the story. Equally important is to understand what factors contribute to its stability and by how much. Here the research group of Academy Research Fellow Dr. Tuononen comes into play with the tools of theoretical modelling.

"Computational work showed that this is a good example of the Goldilocks effect in chemistry: everything needs to be 'just right'," tells Dr. Tuononen. "The calculations not only pinpoint the important contributors to the stability but also enable us to use this information to design similar adducts that are even more stable. This way we can study them experimentally in greater detail for further insight into the underlying chemistry."

###

"Direct observation of a borane–silane complex involved in frustrated Lewis-pair-mediated hydrosilylations" by Adrian Y. Houghton, Juha Hurmalainen, Akseli Mansikkamäki, Warren E. Piers and Heikki M. Tuononen was published online in Nature Chemistry on September 28th, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2063

Picture: Formation of the reactive borane-silane adduct at -80Celcius is indicated by a color change © Adrian Houghton. Artistic impression of the adduct © Akseli Mansikkamäki

Funding for the work was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (W.E.P.) and the Academy of Finland (H.M.T.).

More information:

Heikki M. Tuononen, tel. +358-40-805-3713, heikki.m.tuononen@jyu.fi Warren E. Piers, tel. +1-403-220-5746, wpiers@ucalgary.ca

Dr. Heikki M. Tuononen | Eurek Alert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single-photon detector can count to 4

18.12.2017 | Information Technology

Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms

18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How much soil goes down the drain -- New data on soil lost due to water

18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>