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 For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Predicting eruptions using satellites and math

28.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

Extremely fine measurements of motion in orbiting supermassive black holes

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>