Catalysis by Transition Metals: Metal-Carbon Double and Triple Bonds

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Science  07 Jan 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4580, pp. 13-18
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4580.13


Several well-characterized transition metal catalysts contain a metal-carbon double bond or a metal-carbon triple bond. In other homogeneous (or heterogeneous) catalyst systems in which the metal is likely to be in a relatively high oxidation state, such as molybdenum(VI) or tungsten(VI), metal-carbon multiple bonds may play an important role. Some recent results suggest that even supposedly well understood reactions such as ethylene polymerization may actually involve catalysts that behave as if they contained a metal-carbon double bond instead of a metal-carbon single bond. The chemistry of metal-carbon double and triple bonds should eventually complement and perhaps. overlap the known chemistry of complexes containing metal-oxygen double bonds or metal-nitrogen triple bonds, respectively; unique catalytic reactions involving carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen ligands multiply bonded to transition metals are therefore possible.