|Source: Ogle / Bertz group | Angew. Chem.|
Though scientists have long studied copper-catalyzed reaction, several short-lived, unstable intermediates
have defied characterization. Now, Profs. Craig Ogle and Steven Bertz (UNC-Charlotte) may have caught one of these ghosts: an elusive C=O copper pi complex. Using rapid-injection techniques at -100 degrees C, the team "freezes out" the complex, which they study by 2D NMR (which shows relative positions of various atoms) and cryoloop X-ray crystallography (shows absolute position in a fixed crystal lattice).
When the team warms the compound much above -10 degrees C, it immediately falls apart.
* And that was just on one class of reactions!
**The deeper we look, the more crazy, head-scratching stuff we find. Ask your local organometallic enthusiast for more info...