The surface complex [(=SiO)Re(=CtBu)(=CHtBu)(CH2tBu)] (1) is a highly efficient propene metathesis catalyst with high initial activities and a good productivity. However, it undergoes a fast deactivation process with time on stream, which is first order in active sites and ethene. Noteworthy, 1-butene and pentenes, unexpected products in the metathesis of propene, are formed as primary products, in large amount relative to Re (> > 1 equiv/Re), showing that their formation is not associated with the formation of inactive species. DFT calculations on molecular model systems show that byproduct formation and deactivation start by a β-H transfer trans to the weak σ-donor ligand (siloxy) at the metallacyclobutane intermediate having a square-based pyramid geometry. This key step has an energy barrier slightly higher than that calculated for olefin metathesis. After β-H transfer, the most accessible pathway is the insertion of ethene in the Re-H bond. The resulting pentacoordinated trisperhydrocarbyl complex rearranges via either (1) α-H abstraction yielding the unexpected 1-butene byproduct and the regeneration of the catalyst or (2) β-H abstraction leading to degrafting. These deactivation and byproduct formation pathways are in full agreement with the experimental data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry