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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 18, 2024
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  4. The separation and purification of niobium and tantalum, which co-occur in natural sources, is difficult due to their similar physical and chemical properties. The current industrial method for separating Ta/Nb mixtures uses an energy-intensive process with caustic and toxic conditions. It is of interest to develop alternative, fundamental methodologies for the purification of these technologically important metals that improve upon their environmental impact. Herein, we introduce new Ta/Nb imido compounds: M( t BuN)(TriNOx) (1-M) bound by the TriNOx 3− ligand and demonstrate a fundamental, proof-of-concept Ta/Nb separation based on differences in the imido reactivities. Despite the nearly identical structures of 1-M, density functional theory (DFT)-computed electronic structures of 1-M indicate enhanced basic character of the imido group in 1-Ta as compared to 1-Nb. Accordingly, the rate of CO 2 insertion into the MN imido bond of 1-Ta to form a carbamate complex (2-Ta) was selective compared to the analogous, unobserved reaction with 1-Nb. Differences in solubility between the imido and carbamate complexes allowed for separation of the carbamate complex, and led to an efficient Ta/Nb separation ( S Ta/Nb = 404 ± 150) dependent on the kinetic differences in nucleophilicities between the imido moieties in 1-Ta and 1-Nb.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 15, 2023
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  6. Abstract The synthesis of bona fide organometallic Ce IV complexes is a formidable challenge given the typically oxidizing properties of the Ce IV cation and reducing tendencies of carbanions. Herein, we report a pair of compounds comprising a Ce IV  − C aryl bond [Li(THF) 4 ][Ce IV (κ 2 - ortho -oxa)(MBP) 2 ] ( 3-THF ) and [Li(DME) 3 ][Ce IV (κ 2 - ortho -oxa)(MBP) 2 ] ( 3-DME ), ortho -oxa = dihydro-dimethyl-2-[4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-oxazolide, MBP 2–  = 2,2′-methylenebis(6- tert -butyl-4-methylphenolate), which exhibit Ce IV  − C aryl bond lengths of 2.571(7) – 2.5806(19) Å and strongly-deshielded, Ce IV  − C ipso 13 C{ 1 H} NMR resonances at 255.6 ppm. Computational analyses reveal the Ce contribution to the Ce IV  − C aryl bond of 3-THF is ~12%, indicating appreciable metal-ligand covalency. Computations also reproduce the characteristic 13 C{ 1 H} resonance, and show a strong influence from spin-orbit coupling (SOC) effects on the chemical shift. The results demonstrate that SOC-driven deshielding is present for Ce IV  − C ipso 13 C{ 1 H} resonances and not just for diamagnetic actinide compounds.
  7. This study presents the role of 5d orbitals in the bonding, and electronic and magnetic structure of Ce imido and oxo complexes synthesized with a tris(hydroxylaminato) [((2- t BuNO)C 6 H 4 CH 2 ) 3 N] 3− (TriNO x 3− ) ligand framework, including the reported synthesis and characterization of two new alkali metal-capped Ce oxo species. X-ray spectroscopy measurements reveal that the imido and oxo materials exhibit an intermediate valent ground state of the Ce, displaying hallmark features in the Ce L III absorption of partial f-orbital occupancy that are relatively constant for all measured compounds. These spectra feature a double peak consistent with other formal Ce( iv ) compounds. Magnetic susceptibility measurements reveal enhanced levels of temperature-independent paramagnetism (TIP). In contrast to systems with direct bonding to an aromatic ligand, no clear correlation between the level of TIP and f-orbital occupancy is observed. CASSCF calculations defy a conventional van Vleck explanation of the TIP, indicating a single-reference ground state with no low-lying triplet excited state, despite accurately predicting the measured values of f-orbital occupancy. The calculations do, however, predict strong 4f/5d hybridization. In fact, within these complexes, despite having similar f-orbital occupancies and therefore levels of 4f/5dmore »hybridization, the d-state distributions vary depending on the bonding motif (CeO vs. CeN) of the complex, and can also be fine-tuned based on varying alkali metal cation capping species. This system therefore provides a platform for understanding the characteristic nature of Ce multiple bonds and potential impact that the associated d-state distribution may have on resulting reactivity.« less
  8. The super electron donor (SED) ability of 2-azaallyl anions has recently been discovered and applied to diverse reactivity, including transition metal-free cross-coupling and dehydrogenative cross-coupling processes. Surprisingly, the redox properties of 2-azaallyl anions and radicals have been rarely studied. Understanding the chemistry of elusive species is the key to further development. Electrochemical analysis of phenyl substituted 2-azaallyl anions revealed an oxidation wave at E 1/2 or E pa = −1.6 V versus Fc/Fc + , which is ∼800 mV less than the reduction potential predicted ( E pa = −2.4 V vs. Fc/Fc + ) based on reactivity studies. Investigation of the kinetics of electron transfer revealed reorganization energies an order of magnitude lower than commonly employed SEDs. The electrochemical study enabled the synthetic design of the first stable, acyclic 2-azaallyl radical. These results indicate that the reorganization energy should be an important design consideration for the development of more potent organic reductants.