The migratory insertion of carbon monoxide and methyl isocyanide into zirconium–carbon and titanium–carbon bonds anchored to a calixarene moiety: a dynamical density functional study
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The energetics and reaction mechanism of the migratory insertion of carbon monoxide and methyl isocyanide into the zirconium–carbon and titanium–carbon bonds in [calix(OMe)2(O)2–M–Me2], (M=Zr, Ti), have been investigated by combining static and dynamic density functional calculations. Two steps have been characterized: the coordination of the incoming nucleophilic moiety leading to relatively stable facial adducts; its subsequent insertion into the M–C bond, leading to η2-bound acyl or iminoacyl complexes, providing a rationale for the different behavior of CO and MeNC towards both insertion and deinsertion reactions. Our results indicate that the rate-determining step for the overall MeNC insertion into the M–C bond is its coordination to the electron-deficient metal center, with the titanium system featuring a higher energy barrier (12.7 versus 5.5 kcal mol−1). Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations have been performed on the Zr system by means of the Car–Parrinello method, to study the hitherto inaccessible mechanistic features of the insertion reactions.
KeywordsMigratory insertion – Calixarene moiety – Dynamical density functional calculations
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