• Akshai Kumar

      Articles written in Journal of Chemical Sciences

    • Metathesis of carbon dioxide and phenyl isocyanate catalysed by group(IV) metal alkoxides: An experimental and computational study

      Akshai Kumar Ashoka G Samuelson

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      The insertion reactions of zirconium(IV) 𝑛-butoxide and titanium(IV) 𝑛-butoxide with a heterocumulene like carbodiimide, carbon dioxide or phenyl isocyanate are compared. Both give an intermediate which carries out metathesis at elevated temperatures by inserting a second heterocumulene in a head-to-head fashion. The intermediate metallacycle extrudes a new heterocumulene, different from the two that have inserted leading to metathesis. As the reaction is reversible, catalytic metathesis is feasible. In stoichiometric reactions heterocumulene insertion, metathesis and metathesis cum insertion products are observed. However, catalytic amounts of the metal alkoxide primarily led to metathesis products. It is shown that zirconium alkoxides promote catalytic metathesis (isocyanates, carbon dioxide) more efficiently than the corresponding titanium alkoxide. The difference in the metathetic activity of these alkoxides has been explained by a computational study using model complexes Ti(OMe)4 (1bTi) and Zr(OMe)4 (1bZr). The computation was carried out at the B3LYP/LANL2DZ level of theory.

    • Computational tools for mechanistic discrimination in the reductive and metathesis coupling reactions mediated by titanium(IV) isopropoxide

      Akshai Kumar Ashoka G Samuelson

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      A theoretical study has been carried out at the B3LYP/LANL2DZ level to compare the reactivity of phenyl isocyanate and phenyl isothiocyanate towards titanium(IV) alkoxides. Isocyanates are shown to favour both mono insertion and double insertion reactions. Double insertion in a head-to-tail fashion is shown to be more exothermic than double insertion in a head-to-head fashion. The head-to-head double insertion leads to the metathesis product, a carbodiimide, after the extrusion of carbon dioxide. In the case of phenyl isothiocyanate, calculations favour the formation of only mono insertion products. Formation of a double insertion product is highly unfavourable. Further, these studies indicate that the reverse reaction involving the metathesis of N,N'-diphenyl carbodiimide with carbon dioxide is likely to proceed more efficiently than the metathesis reaction with carbon disulphide. This is in excellent agreement with experimental results as metathesis with carbon disulphide fails to occur. In a second study, multilayer MM/QM calculations are carried out on intermediates generated from reduction of titanium(IV) alkoxides to investigate the effect of alkoxy bridging on the reactivity of multinuclear Ti species. Bimolecular coupling of imines initiated by Ti(III) species leads to a mixture of diastereomers and not diastereoselective coupling of the imine. However if the reaction is carried out by a trimeric biradical species, diastereoselective coupling of the imine is predicted. The presence of alkoxy bridges greatly favours the formation of the d,l (±) isomer, whereas the intermediate without alkoxy bridges favours the more stable meso isomer. As a bridged trimeric species, stabilized by bridging alkoxy groups, correctly explains the diastereoselective reaction, it is the most likely intermediate in the reaction.

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