New Approaches to Functionalizing Metal-Coordinated N2


  • This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, under grant number 1001589 to Mu-Hyun Baik, whom we thank for computational resources. We also thank Prof. Bernd F. Straub for stimulating discussions at the origin of this work, and both Prof. Kirk A. Peterson, Department of Chemistry, Washington State University and Dr. Richard L. Lord for computational advice.


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N2, can do: Converting the refractory molecule N2 into synthetic chemicals is thermodynamically preferred when the derivatizing reactant is a “high-energy molecule”, one with a positive enthalpy of formation. Alkynes and allenes are thus targeted for this purpose (see scheme), and a range of likely products are identified, especially those with N[BOND]N bonds, including bipyrroles.