Special Issue "Ligand Design in Metal Chemistry: Reactivity and Catalysis"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Rita Mazzoni Website E-Mail
Department of Industrial Chemistry "Toso Montanari", Università degli Studi di Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Phone: 0039-051-2093700
Interests: organometallic chemistry; ligand design; iron and ruthenium complexes; homogeneous catalysis; biomass valorization
Guest Editor
Dr. Luca Rigamonti Website E-Mail
Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
Interests: coordination chemistry; electronic modulation; structure-property correlation studies; Schiff base ligands; magnetic properties

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ligand design in organometallic and coordination chemistry represents a key point and one of the best ways for tuning properties of transition metal and lanthanide complexes. Indeed, by varying ligand nature and the relative steric hindrance of substituents, the electron density of the metal centre, as well as their catalytic activity and selectivity, can be efficiently driven. In addition to catalysis, this approach is optimal in all areas in which metal complexes can have an application thanks to their reactivity, such as responsive materials (e.g. magnetic or luminescent), bio-inorganic chemistry and sensing.

Within the aim of developing novel homogeneous catalysts and efficient processes, a great effort has to be devoted to sustainable objectives exploiting 3d transition metal reactivity and looking forward green transformation aimed to close life cycles. Ligand design plays also a fundamental role in filling the gap between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis toward the development of insoluble single-site supported catalysts.

This Special Issue aims to collect original research papers as well as reviews able to advance the knowledge in the rational design of ligands and their metal complexes, together with the study of the resulting reactivity and catalytic properties. Union between experimental and theoretical approaches are also welcome for this Special Issue.

Dr. Rita Mazzoni
Dr. Luca Rigamonti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Ligand design
  • Coordination ability
  • Electronic modulation
  • Homogeneous catalysis
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Sustainable chemistry
  • Green conversion
  • Reactivity studies
  • Responsive materials

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Influence of the substitution pattern at monodentate phosphite ligands on the rhodium catalyzed hydroformylation of olefins

Author: Armin Boerner

Title: Synthesis, Characterization, Solution Behavior and Theoretical Studies of Pd(II) Allyl Complexes with 2-Phenyl-3H-indoles as Ligands

Authors: Maria Tomé, Arnald Grabulosa, Mercè Rocamora, Gabriel Aullón, Mercè Font-Bardía, Teresa Calvet, and Concepción López *

Abstract: The study of the reactivity of three 2-phenyl-3-H-indole indole ligands of general formulae C8H3N-2-(C6H4-4-R1)-3-NOMe-5R2 (1) [with R1 = H, R2 = OMe (a); R1 = R2 = H (b) or R1 = Cl, R2 = H (c)] with [Pd(h3-1R3-C3H4)(m-Cl)]2 (R3 = H or Ph) has allowed us to isolate two sets of new Pd(II)-allyl complexes of general formulae [Pd(h3-1R3-C3H4)(1)Cl] {R3 = H (2) or Ph (3)}. Compounds 2a-2c and 3a-3c have been characterized by elemental analyses, mass spectrometry and IR spectroscopy. The crystal structures of 2a, 3a and 3b have also been determined by X-ray diffraction. 1H-NMR studies reveal the coexistence of two (for 2a-2c) or three (for 3a-3c) isomeric forms in CD2Cl2 solutions at 182 K. Additional studies on the catalytic activity of mixtures containing [Pd(h3-C3H5)(m-Cl)]2 and the parent ligand (1a-1c) in the allylic alkylation of (E)-3-phenyl-2-propenyl (cinnamyl) acetate with sodium diethyl 2-methylmalonate as well as the stoichiometric reaction between compounds 3a and 3c with the nucleophile reveal that in both cases the formation of the linear trans- derivative is strongly preferred over the branched product. Computational studies at a DFT level on compound 3a have allowed us to compare the relative stability of their isomeric forms present in solution and to explain the regioselectivity of the catalytic and stoichiometric processes.

Keywords: Pd-allyl complexes, 2-phenyl-3H indoles; homogeneous catalysis; computational studies; solution behavior.

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