Thursday, October 7, 2010

Can a chemist synthesize this molecule?

Research in chemistry is all about making new molecules.
I have written a few previous posts about organometallic compounds and transition metal catalysts. Hence, it was interesting to see the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for "palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis".
I got the picture above from the scientific background which is worth reading. The basic idea seems to be that one whats to form a carbon-carbon bond between R and R'' and this can be catalysed by first forming the R''-Pd-R intermediate.

What can theorists say about this chemistry? I found an interesting looking paper by Shaik (one of my favourite quantum chemsists) and collaborators which uses DFT to study this problem.

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