Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and uderstanding: To provide students with the basic knowledge related to organometallic chemistry, the preparation, characterization and reactivity of the main classes of organometallic compounds. At the end of the course, the student will be able to recognize the role played by metal within synthesis protocols (mainly organic), both in stoichiometric and catalytic reactions. They will also be able to evaluate the importance of ligands combined with the metal in direct the process towards high performance in terms of yield and selectivity.
Applying knowledge and understanding: students are encouraged to use all the knowledge deriving from the course program but also from the previously attended course programs (Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry) to understand the structural and reactive properties of organometallic compounds. They will therefore be able to evaluate the different reactivity that an organic molecule shows when "free" (uncoordinated) compared to when it is interacting with a metallic nucleus (coordinate), and as a function of the metallic nucleus (type of element and its oxidation state) and its coordinative neighborhood. They will have the ability to understand the scientific bibliography concerning synthesis processes promoted by metal complexes, identifying the key role played by the chosen metal species.
Making judgments: the students will acquire the ability to carefully choose the type of metal (type of element and its oxidation state) most suitable for promoting a specific reaction involving a particular organic substrate, according to the reactive steps expected in the mechanism of reaction. They will also acquire skills relating to how to carry out a correct monitoring of the reaction, to determine its efficiency both in terms of conversion / yield and selectivity.
Communication skills: the students will acquire the ability to describe in detail and precisely the structures of organometallic compounds, highlighting the peculiarities deriving from the metal-ligand interaction. They will therefore be able to propose and describe a plausible reaction mechanism for common metal-promoted processes (both stoichiometric and catalytic), justifying the expected performances (productivity and selectivity). Finally, They will be able to illustrate the advantages deriving from metal-promoted reactions with respect to classical organic synthesis protocols.
Learning skills: the students will be able to program metal-catalyzed synthesis experiments, to critically evaluate their performance and to intervene on structural changes and experimental conditions for the optimization of the reaction. They will have the ability to critically analyze literature results, using them for a better optimization of the reactions of interest.
Oral lessons (48 hours), with the possibility of following the lesson remotely (via Teams). The recorded lessons will be made available on the web (via Elly). Some exercises are scheduled during the lessons, aimed at reinforcing the knlowedge acquired by the students. Discussions with the audience will be strongly motivated by the teacher to reinforce tha abality of the student to analyze the different solution strategies.
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral exam, where the following points will be addressed: Learning of the basic concepts of organometallic chemistry, with particular emphasis to the ligand to metal electronic donation and metal to ligand back-donation, in order to understand the different reactivity shown by a free ligand (not coordinated organic molecule) and metal-bound organic molecule. Analysis of the effect played by all the actors involved in the reaction that's, type of organic ligand, substituents directly attached to the C-atoms bound to the metal, type of metal (its position in the Periodic Table and its electronegativity), type of ancillary (spectators) ligands. Definition of a possible synthetic strategy for the preparation of simple organometallic compounds, taking into consideration the type of ligand, metal and experimental conditions (temperature, solvent) required for getting the requested molecular structure and chemical reactivity. Ability to rationalize the most convenient spectroscopic and analytical techniques for the characterization of a given organometallic compounds. Ability to use the acquired concepts in order to understand some catalytic mechanisms governing some useful metal-catalyzed organic syntheses.
In the case of persistence of the emergency, the exam will be conducted remotly (via Teams) in the following way:
the student will receive a week before the exam a short paper that will be discussed during the exam through a ppt presentation. Some examples of structures, reactions or characterization techniques will be object of discussion (example shared by the teacher through a ppt file). General questions about the class of ligands, synthetic pathways ecc. will then be analyzed.