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Exploring metal hydrides using autoclave and multi-anvil hydrogenations

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Metal hydride materials have been intensively studied for hydrogen storage applications. In addition to potential hydrogen economy applications, metal hydrides offer a wide variety of other interesting properties. For example, hydrogen-dominant materials, which are hydrides with the highest hydrogen content

Metal hydride materials have been intensively studied for hydrogen storage applications. In addition to potential hydrogen economy applications, metal hydrides offer a wide variety of other interesting properties. For example, hydrogen-dominant materials, which are hydrides with the highest hydrogen content for a particular metal/semimetal composition, are predicted to display high-temperature superconductivity. On the other side of the spectrum are hydrides with small amounts of hydrogen (0.1 - 1 at.%) that are investigated as viable magnetic, thermoelectric or semiconducting materials. Research of metal hydride materials is generally important to gain fundamental understanding of metal-hydrogen interactions in materials. Hydrogenation of Zintl phases, which are defined as compounds between an active metal (alkali, alkaline earth, rare earth) and a p-block metal/semimetal, were attempted by a hot sintering method utilizing an autoclave loaded with gaseous hydrogen (< 9 MPa). Hydride formation competes with oxidative decomposition of a Zintl phase. The oxidative decomposition, which leads to a mixture of binary active metal hydride and p-block element, was observed for investigated aluminum (Al) and gallium (Ga) containing Zintl phases. However, a new phase Li2Al was discovered when Zintl phase precursors were synthesized. Using the single crystal x-ray diffraction (SCXRD), the Li2Al was found to crystallize in an orthorhombic unit cell (Cmcm) with the lattice parameters a = 4.6404(8) Å, b = 9.719(2) Å, and c = 4.4764(8) Å. Increased demand for materials with improved properties necessitates the exploration of alternative synthesis methods. Conventional metal hydride synthesis methods, like ball-milling and autoclave technique, are not responding to the demands of finding new materials. A viable alternative synthesis method is the application of high pressure for the preparation of hydrogen-dominant materials. Extreme pressures in the gigapascal ranges can open access to new metal hydrides with novel structures and properties, because of the drastically increased chemical potential of hydrogen. Pressures up to 10 GPa can be easily achieved using the multi-anvil (MA) hydrogenations while maintaining sufficient sample volume for structure and property characterization. Gigapascal MA hydrogenations using ammonia borane (BH3NH3) as an internal hydrogen source were employed in the search for new hydrogen-dominant materials. Ammonia borane has high gravimetric volume of hydrogen, and additionally the thermally activated decomposition at high pressures lead to a complete hydrogen release at reasonably low temperature. These properties make ammonia borane a desired hydrogen source material. The missing member Li2PtH6 of the series of A2PtH6 compounds (A = Na to Cs) was accessed by employing MA technique. As the known heavier analogs, the Li2PtH6 also crystallizes in a cubic K2PtCl6-type structure with a cell edge length of 6.7681(3) Å. Further gigapascal hydrogenations afforded the compounds K2SiH6 and Rb2SiH6 which are isostructural to Li2PtH6. The cubic K2SiH6 and Rb2SiH6 are built from unique hypervalent SiH62- entities with the lattice parameters of 7.8425(9) and 8.1572(4) Å, respectively. Spectroscopic analysis of hexasilicides confirmed the presence of hypervalent bonding. The Si-H stretching frequencies at 1550 cm-1 appeared considerably decreased in comparison with a normal-valent (2e2c) Si-H stretching frequencies in SiH4 at around 2200 cm-1. However, the observed stretching modes in hypervalent hexasilicides were in a reasonable agreement with Ph3SiH2- (1520 cm-1) where the hydrogen has the axial (3e4c bonded) position in the trigoal bipyramidal environment.

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2013

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Evaluation of k4-diimine nickel and cobalt hydrofunctionalization catalysts

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The search for highly active, inexpensive, and earth abundant replacements for existing transition metal catalysts is ongoing. Our group has utilized several redox non-innocent ligands that feature flexible arms with donor substituents. These ligands allow for coordinative flexibility about the

The search for highly active, inexpensive, and earth abundant replacements for existing transition metal catalysts is ongoing. Our group has utilized several redox non-innocent ligands that feature flexible arms with donor substituents. These ligands allow for coordinative flexibility about the metal centre, while the redox non-innocent core helps to overcome the one electron chemistry that is prevalent in first row transition metals. This dissertation focuses on the use of Ph2PPrDI, which can adopt a κ4-configuration when bound to a metal. One reaction that is industrially useful is hydrosilylation, which allows for the preparation of silicones that are useful in the lubrication, adhesive, and cosmetics industries. Typically, this reaction relies on highly active, platinum-based catalysts. However, the high cost of this metal has inspired the search for base metal replacements. In Chapter One, an overview of existing alkene and carbonyl hydrosilylation catalysts is presented. Chapter Two focuses on exploring the reactivity of (Ph2PPrDI)Ni towards carbonyl hydrosilylation, as well as the development of the 2nd generation catalysts, (iPr2PPrDI)Ni and (tBu2PPrDI)Ni. Chapter Three presents a new C-O bond hydrosilylation reaction for the formation of silyl esters. It was found the (Ph2PPrDI)Ni is the most active catalyst in the literature for this transformation, with turnover frequencies of up to 900 h-1. Chapter Four explores the activity and selectivity of (Ph2PPrDI)Ni for alkene hydrosilylation, including the first large scope of gem-olefins for a nickel-based catalyst. Chapter Five explores the chemistry of (Ph2PPrDI)CoH, first through electronic structure determinations and crystallography, followed by an investigation of its reactivity towards alkyne hydroboration and nitrile dihydroboration. (Ph2PPrDI)CoH is the first reported cobalt nitrile dihydroboration catalyst.

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2018