Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Scott Gronert


The ever increasing demand for more efficient and environmentally benign routes for synthesizing target compounds, has led to the use of organometallic catalysts. This demand has created the need to understand the mechanistic details that are at work in these organometallic catalytic cycles. Along with this, there is a demand for new organometallic catalysts that are tailored for specific transformations. This presents a myriad of challenges for organometallic chemists. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to gain an understanding of the reaction mechanisms at work when the intermediates are too short lived to be observed in the condensed phase. It is also very time consuming to synthesize, purify, and characterize organometallic catalysts following standard condensed phase methods. Therefore, it would be beneficial to probe organometallic reactions in a way that the inherent reactivity of the organometallic complex can be uncovered and where purity is not a prerequisite. Using an ion-trap mass spectrometer that has been modified to allow introduction of neutral reagents to the buffer gas, organometallic ion-molecule reactions can be probed in an environment free from solvation effects. This enables the study of the inherent reactivity of the complexes and also provides insight into reaction mechanisms by allowing reactive intermediates to be probed. In addition, organometallic complexes probed in this manner do not need to be pure due to ability of the ion trap to function as a mass filter. This results in a quick and efficient method. This dissertation presents results found during the investigation of the reactions and mechanistic details of gold, silver, and iridium complexes using a modified ion-trap mass spectrometer.


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