26 July 2018

Nanostructured reagents with organic-group-defined morphology

The great impact of the nanoscale organization of reactive species on their performance in chemical transformations creates the possibility of fine-tuning of reaction parameters by modulating the nano-level properties. This methodology is extensively applied for the catalysts development whereas nanostructured reactants represent the practically unexplored area. Here we report the palladium- and copper-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction involving nano-structured nickel thiolate particles as reagents. On the basis of experimental findings we propose the cooperative effect of nano-level and molecular-level properties on their reactivity. The high degree of ordering, small particles size, and electron donating properties of the substituents favor the product formation. Reactant particles evolution in the reaction is visualized directly by dynamic liquid-phase electron microscopy including recording of video movies. Mechanism of the reaction in liquid phase is established using on-line mass spectrometry measurements. Together the findings provide new opportunities for organic chemical transformations design and for mechanistic studies.

Reference: Nat. Commun., 2018, 9, 2936

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05350-x

On-line version: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05350-x