Ong, T.C., et al., Atomistic Description of Reaction Intermediates for Supported Metathesis Catalysts Enabled by DNP SENS. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 2016. 55(15): p. 4743-7.
Obtaining detailed structural information of reaction intermediates remains a key challenge in heterogeneous catalysis because of the amorphous nature of the support and/or the support interface that prohibits the use of diffraction-based techniques. Combining isotopic labeling and dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) increases the sensitivity of surface enhanced solid-state NMR spectroscopy (SENS) towards surface species in heterogeneous alkene metathesis catalysts; this in turn allows direct determination of the bond connectivity and measurement of the carbon-carbon bond distance in metallacycles, which are the cycloaddition intermediates in the alkene metathesis catalytic cycle. Furthermore, this approach makes possible the understanding of the slow initiation and deactivation steps in these heterogeneous metathesis catalysts.