The potential energy surfaces of the oxidative addition reactions, L2M + imidazoliumcation → product and CpM′L + imidazolium cation → product (M = Ni, Pd, Pt; M′ = Co, Rh, Ir; Cp = η5-C5H5; L = 1,3-aryl-N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC), aryl = 2,4,6-trimethylphenyl), are studied at the M06-L/Def2-SVP level of theory. The theoretical findings show that the singlet-triplet splitting (∆Est = Etriplet − Esinglet) for the L2M and CpM′L species can be used to predict the reactivity for their oxidative additions. That is to say, current theoretical evidence suggests that both a 14-electron L2M complex and a 16-electron CpM′Lcomplex with a better electron-donating ligand L (such as NHC) result in a reduced ∆Est value and facilitate the oxidative addition to the saturated C─H bond. The theoretical results for this study are in good agreement with the obtainable experimental results and allow a number of predictions to be made.
Part of the book: Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry Researches of Metal Compounds