Combinatorial Organic and Organometallic Catalysis

In homogeneous catalysis [21], the catalytically active species is in most cases a metal ion stabilized by one or more ligating or chelating organic moieties. The relationship of ligand structure to the chemical and physical properties of derived metal complexes is a central theme in numerous fields such as selective catalysis, sensor discovery, and bioorganic chemistry. In an extremely challenging rational approach, the identification of metal-ligand complexes with new physical or chemical properties such as well-designed structural, electronic, and/or stereochemical features typically involves the synthesis of a small number of appropriate ligand derivatives, and, subsequently, the individual analysis of their metal-binding properties. This ''empirical approach'' often proves to be very labor intensive and not economical since the potential for optimization is limited by resources and time. In this context, a systematic methodology for the expedient generation of new classes of coordination complexes would clearly be of great value. The synthesis of a library of ligands for the discovery of new or improved catalysts may be carried out using combinatorial organic synthesis methodologies to overcome a limited ligand supply, and may subsequently be followed by metal complexation and screening for catalytic activity in a targeted chemical transformation.

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