Catalytic mechanisms

A catalytic mechanism is the sequence of elementary reactions by which a catalytic reaction proceeds.

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    | Open Access

    Organocatalysis has become a major pillar of (asymmetric) catalysis. Here, the authors discuss recent trends in organocatalytic activation modes for challenging stereoselective transformations and the emerging integration with other fields, such as photoredox catalysis and electrosynthesis.

    • Shao-Hua Xiang
    •  & Bin Tan
  • News and Views |

    A heterodinuclear MgCo catalyst has been shown to be highly active for the copolymerization of CO2 and epoxides under low (atmospheric) CO2 pressures. Its performance arises from the intramolecular synergy between the two metals, which adopt distinct roles and mediate each other’s reactivity during catalysis.

    • Xiao-Bing Lu
    Nature Chemistry 12, 324-326
  • News and Views |

    Identifying the rate-determining step (RDS) for oxygen incorporation into mixed ionic and electronic conducting electrodes is very challenging, particularly since the local composition changes during the reaction. Now, a generally applicable method for identifying the RDS is presented, with the example of a Pr0.1Ce0.9O2–x electrode.

    • Ellen Wachtel
    •  & Igor Lubomirsky
    Nature Catalysis 3, 94-95
  • News and Views |

    Because of the high strength of N≡N bonds, N2 is often employed as an inert gas. Now it has been shown that it can partly react to yield surface nitrogen species that facilitate C–O hydrogenolysis reactions on supported Ru catalysts.

    • Thomas J. Schwartz
    Nature Catalysis 2, 1060-1061
  • News and Views |

    Due to the high oxidation potential of gold, the development of dual gold/photoredox-catalysed processes has been limited by the need for an easily reduced radical source. Now, discovery of an energy transfer photoexcitation process overcomes this limitation, enabling the oxidative addition of iodoalkynes onto organogold intermediates.

    • Euan B. McLean
    •  & Ai-Lan Lee
    Nature Chemistry 11, 760-761