University Chemistry ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (7): 88-94.doi: 10.3866/PKU.DXHX201908041

Special Issue: 有机化学课程与实验教学

• Survey of Chemistry • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Discussion on the Application of Back Bonding Theory to Small Molecule Activation

Congcong Huang, Lili Lin, Suhua Li, Li Zhang(), Chengyong Su   

  • Received:2019-08-28 Accepted:2019-11-05 Published:2019-11-18
  • Contact: Li Zhang


Small molecule activation has attracted much attention in recent years. It can not only facilitate a range of organic reactions, but also transform low-value reagents into high-value products. Nevertheless, it is a big challenge to activate small molecules such as carbon dioxide, dinitrogen, water and dihydrogen due to their high bond dissociation energy. One of the most important strategies for the effective small molecule activation is the application of transition metal catalysis. The key point lies in the interactions between the d orbitals of transition metal and the frontier orbitals of small molecules. This perspective will discuss the interactions between the metal d orbitals and the frontier orbitals of small molecules, and elucidate how these interactions facilitate small molecule activation. We hope that this perspective could help students to gain a better understanding of back bonding theory.

Key words: Organometallic chemistry of the transition metals, Back Bonding Theory, Small molecule activation, Bond dissociation energy, Frontier orbitals


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