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  1. null (Ed.)
    Transition metal oxo species are key intermediates for the activation of strong C–H bonds. As such, there has been interest in understanding which structural or electronic parameters of metal oxo complexes determine their reactivity. Factors such as ground state thermodynamics, spin state, steric environment, oxygen radical character, and asynchronicity have all been cited as key contributors, yet there is no consensus on when each of these parameters is significant or the relative magnitude of their effects. Herein, we present a thorough statistical analysis of parameters that have been proposed to influence transition metal oxo mediated C–H activation. We used density functional theory (DFT) to compute parameters for transition metal oxo complexes and analyzed their ability to explain and predict an extensive data set of experimentally determined reaction barriers. We found that, in general, only thermodynamic parameters play a statistically significant role. Notably, however, there are independent and significant contributions from the oxidation potential and basicity of the oxo complexes which suggest a more complicated thermodynamic picture than what has been shown previously. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
  3. We report four-coordinate nickel( ii )-methyl complexes of tris-carbene borate ligands which adopt rare seesaw geometries. Experimental and computational results suggest the structural distortion from threefold symmetry results from a combination of electronic stabilization of the singlet state, strong field donors, and constrained angles from the chelating ligand. 
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  4. We report an unusual series of discrete iodosyl- and iodoxyarene adducts of Co. The formation of these adducts was confirmed by a suite of techniques including single crystal X-ray diffraction. The reactivity of these adducts with O-atom acceptors and an H-atom donor has been investigated with particular focus on elucidating mechanistic details. Detailed kinetic analysis allows for discrimination between proposed oxo and adduct mediated mechanisms. In particular, these reactions have been interrogated by competition experiments with isotopically labelled mixtures which shows that all of the studied adducts display a large KIE. These studies suggest different mechanisms may be relevant depending on subtle substituent changes in the adduct complexes. Reactivity data are consistent with the involvement of a transient oxo complex in one case, while the two other systems appear to react with substrates directly as iodosyl- or iodoxyarene adducts. These results support that reactivity typically ascribed to metal-oxo complexes, such as O-atom transfer and C–H activation, can also be mediated by discrete transition metal iodosyl- or iodoxyarene adducts that are frequent intermediates in the generation of oxo complexes. The influence of additional Lewis acids such as Sc 3+ on the reactivity of these systems has also been investigated. 
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