Activation of the C-H Bonds in Neopentane and Neopentane-d12 by (.eta.5-C5(CH3)5)Rh(CO)2: Spectroscopic and Temporal Resolution of Rhodium-Krypton and Rhodium-Alkane Complex Intermediates Academic Article uri icon


  • The photoinitiated reaction of Cp*Rh(CO)2 with neopentane and neopentane-d12 in liquid krypton has been studied with low-temperature IR flash kinetic spectroscopy. Photolysis of Cp*Rh(CO)2 generates a single transient absorption at 1946 cm-1 which is assigned to the Cp*Rh(CO)(Kr) complex. This complex reacts with (CH3)4C to form the C-H activated neopentyl hydride product observed at 2008 cm-1. Confirming earlier flash kinetic results with cyclohexane, the results are consistent with a pre-equilibrium mechanism in which an initially formed transient krypton complex Cp*Rh(CO)(Kr) is in rapid equilibrium with a transient (uninserted) alkane complex Cp*Rh(CO)((CH3)4C) which then proceeds to form the neopentyl hydride in a unimolecular step. Under most conditions our mechanism requires that both Cp*Rh(CO)(Kr) and Cp*Rh(CO)(alkane) exhibit unresolved carbonyl stretching absorptions at 1946 cm-1. However, use of (CD3)4C as the alkane substrate allows us, for the first time, to spectroscopically and temporally resolve both the rhodium-krypton and rhodium-alkane complex intermediates by 1 cm-1, lending further support for the pre-equilibrium mechanism proposed to be operative in these systems. As was observed with cyclohexane and cyclohexane-d2, a normal isotope effect is observed for the unimolecular C-H(D) insertion step but an unusual equilibrium isotope effect (EIE) is measured for the pre-equilibrium step of the reaction: rhodium is bound an order of magnitude more strongly to (CD3)4C than to (CH3)4C. © 1994, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of the American Chemical Society

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Bengali, A. A., Schultz, R. H., Moore, C. B., & Bergman, R. G

citation count

  • 137

complete list of authors

  • Bengali, AA||Schultz, Richard H||Moore, C Bradley||Bergman, Robert G

publication date

  • October 1994