Organometallic Chemistry


Organometallic compounds, which are known for almost 250 years since Cadet discovered Me2As-O-AsMe2 (kakodyl oxyde) in 1760, contain by definition a metal atom directly bound to a carbon atom of an organic group (ligand). Organometallic compounds are valuable, widely applied starting reagents in organic and organometallic synthesis. Prominent examples are organomagnesium compounds RMgX, developed by Grignard, organolithium compounds as well as organozinc compounds, which have been introduced by Frankland.

The metal carbon bond is more or less polar depending on the difference in electronegativity values DEN between carbon and the metal atom. The larger DEN, the more polar is the carbon-metal bond and the more nucleophilic is the reagent. In comparison to organolithium compounds (DEN = 1.53), organozinc compounds (DEN = 0.84) are much weaker nucleophiles and hence less reactive to electrophiles, but they show a higher selectivity.



Our research studies preferably focus on the synthesis of organometallic compounds containing group 2 (Be), 12 (Zn), 13 (Al - Tl), 15 (As - Bi) and 16 elements (Se, Te) in their typical oxidation states. Their structure is investigated both in solution and in the solid state which particular emphasis on the identification of intermolecular interactions, and their chemical reactivity is studied.

In addition, the synthesis, structure and reactivity of low valent organometallic compounds including their potential use as low-temperature precursors in material sciences is investigated.

The compounds are exclusively handled under inert gas atmosphere using classical Schlenk techniques and glove boxes in order to avoid any contact with oxygen and water. They are characterized using various spectroscopic (heteronuclear NMR, IR, mass spectroscopy) and thermo-analytical methods (DSC, TGA/DTA) as well as by X-ray crystallography (single crystal, powder XRD).