Synthesis, structure, and reactions of stable oxametallacycles from styrene oxide on Ag(111). Academic Article uri icon


  • Styrene oxide undergoes an activated ring opening on Ag(111) at temperatures above 200 K. The product of this reaction is a stable oxametallacycle intermediate. The structure of this species has been obtained by density functional theory calculations and the computed vibrational spectrum is consistent with the experimental spectrum obtained using high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy. The oxametallacycle formed by ring-opening styrene oxide is structurally analogous to that previously observed for ring opening of epoxybutene on Ag(110) and represents the largest member of this adsorbate structure class yet isolated. In both cases, the epoxide ring opens at the carbon bearing the pendant unsaturated group, and the pendant group (phenyl in styrene oxide) is oriented nearly parallel to the surface plane. The oxametallacycle formed from styrene oxide reacts at 485 K to regenerate styrene oxide plus small amounts of phenylacetaldehyde. This peak temperature is similar to that previously reported for generation of styrene oxide from adsorbed styrene and oxygen atoms on Ag(111), suggesting that the epoxidation proceeds via the oxametallacycle intermediate isolated in the present work.

published proceedings

  • J Phys Chem B

author list (cited authors)

  • Enever, M., Linic, S., Uffalussy, K., Vohs, J. M., & Barteau, M. A.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Enever, M||Linic, S||Uffalussy, K||Vohs, JM||Barteau, MA

publication date

  • February 2005