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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 19 (2014) pp 133-137

Greening the Inorganic Lab: Combining Microwaves and Phase Transfer Catalysis for the Rapid Synthesis of Group VI Carbonyl Complexes

Kurt R. Birdwhistell*, Kathryn J. Conroy, and Brian E. Schulz

Chemistry Department, Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 Saint Charles Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118,
Received February 17, 2014. Accepted March 20, 2014.

Published: 22 May 2014

Abstract. A synthesis experiment for the upper level inorganic lab that rapidly produces Group VI carbonyl complexes by combining microwave energy and phase transfer catalysis (PTC) was developed. In this lab students synthesize several group VI carbonyl complexes of the type M(CO)4L2, where L2= dppm, dppe, dppp, 2PPh3; and M= Mo, W using a phase transfer catalyst in a microwave. Several additional learning objectives include: 1) how green chemistry principles are applied in this synthesis; 2) how to use multinuclear NMR (1H, 31P) and IR spectroscopy for structure determination in organotransition metal chemistry; and 3) how solvent effects are important in microwave synthesis.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; inorganic chemistry; upper division undergraduate; catalysis; green chemistry; organometallics; synthesis; Group VI transition elements; NMR spectroscopy; microwave synthesis; phase transfer catalysis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: )

Article in PDF format (131 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Supporting information includes a student handout, instructor notes on the experiment, and spectroscopic information on the compounds in the experiment (827 KB).

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