Spectroscopy and coherent scattering on catalysts for C-H bonds of saturated alkanes at the European XFEL


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  • uploaded April 19, 2024

C-H bonds of saturated alkanes are inert and hence hard to break. Catalysis with 4d and 5d transition metal complexes in solution provides ways for C-H bond cleavage, whereas earth-abundant 3d metal catalysts have not been discovered to date.
Raphael M. Jay from Uppsala University in Sweden and his team investigates how to make 3d metal complexes reactive for C-H activation. The Heisenberg Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (hRIXS) instrument at the Spectroscopy & Coherent Scattering instrument (SCS) with femtosecond resolution is ideally suited to reveal the electronic-structure factors that determine creation of reactive 3d metal centers for C-H activation.
The aim is to identify bottlenecks that prevent 3d transition metal complexes from being effective catalysts for C-H activation. The findings may devise strategies for how to make photochemical C-H activation and functionalization with 3d metal complexes more efficient and selective.


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