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Low-Valent Main Group Complexes and their Transition Metal-like Reactivity

  • Author / Creator
    Roy, Matthew M. D.
  • The work presented in this thesis describes the isolation of novel low-valent Group 12 and p-block element-containing molecules. Some of these molecules are shown to exhibit reactivity which mimics that of the transition metals; specifically, with respect to strong bond activation and catalysis. In order to isolate these reactive main group compounds, several stabilization strategies were employed. Lewis base stabilization using bulky N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands proved to be highly valuable in the formation of reactive sites involving electropositive elements. Using NHCs, both cadmium and germanium-based molecules are shown to be active ketone reduction catalysts. Additionally, an extremely bulky NHC ligand was synthesized and demonstrated to stabilize low-coordinate inorganic cations of silver, thallium and germanium. Finally, a bulky anionic (vinylic) donor based on an N-heterocyclic carbene framework proved to be highly effective in the stabilization of low-coordinate, reduced main group environments. This includes the synthesis of two-coordinate silicon compounds which, at the present time, are still exceedingly rare owing to their high degree of reactivity. One such species is shown to cleave strong organic and inorganic σ-bonds, thus demonstrating transition metal-like reactivity with the 2nd most abundant element in the Earth’s crust.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-2ayd-v829
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.