Physical Insights into Mechanistic Processes in Organometallic Chemistry: Faraday Discussion

2 - 4 September 2019, York, United Kingdom

Organometallic chemistry underpins the majority of homogeneous catalysis, which is used in a range of areas from the multi-tonne-scale synthesis of polymers to the discovery and preparation of high-value molecules such as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. The development and/or optimisation of many of these catalytic applications crucially depends on the discovery and understanding of mechanistic processes in organometallic chemistry. As such, mechanistic investigations have played a key role in the field of organometallic chemistry since its early days, but the recent and rapid growth in transition-metal catalysed organic reactions, where fundamental mechanistic insight is frequently lagging behind synthetic developments, emphasises their contemporary importance. In addition, there have been many significant developments recently in the physical methods that can be used to gain mechanistic understanding in organometallic chemistry (e.g. NMR spectroscopic developments such as new hyperpolarisation techniques, in-situ IR for reaction monitoring, novel methodologies for kinetic analysis and novel computational approaches). 

The Discussion will provide a focussed meeting on mechanistic studies coupled with novel experimental and computational methods that will bring together experts with a wide range of interests and backgrounds, including those developing new physical methods for mechanistic investigations and potential end users of these methods.


The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years. Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions

Find out more about the Faraday Discussions in this video


This meeting aims to bring together a range of leaders in the field of organometallic, physical and computational chemistry to discuss new mechanistic insights and methodologies for mechanistic studies. The substantial current interest in catalysis for synthetic chemistry and the need for mechanistic insights in the field, aimed at providing a rational foundation for further developments, make this meeting both timely and important.‚Äč


  • Physical methods for mechanistic understanding
This first session will focus on discussing novel and emerging physical approaches for developing mechanistic insight in organometallic chemistry and catalysis. This will involve new instrumentation (e.g. low-field NMR, in situ photochemistry with NMR) and new methodologies (e.g. kinetic analyses using the Reaction Progress Kinetic Analysis (RPKA) approach, new hyperpolarisation techniques, time-resolved NMR, Mössbauer and MCD spectroscopy of organometallics, mass spectrometric identification of reaction intermediates).
  • Understanding unusual element-element bond formation and activation
This second session will focus on new studies of the fundamental mechanistic processes underpinning the formation, or activation, of unusual element-element bonds. A particularly active area that will be covered will be C-F bond formation and activation, as insights into the physical processes at work here will play a key role in the development of new reactions for the formation of fluorinated molecules in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and materials chemistry.
  • Computational and theoretical approaches for mechanistic understanding
This third session will focus on novel computational studies and new methodological developments of relevance to understanding mechanism in organometallic chemistry. Quantum chemical studies play a key role in the field of mechanistic organometallic chemistry, as there is often a strong synergy between experimental and computational studies, with each providing complementary information. However there are significant challenges in accurately modelling “real-world” systems and computational methodologies in this area have been rapidly evolving in recent years.
  • Mechanistic insight into organic and industrial transformations
The final session will focus on developments in mechanistic understanding that underpin important applications of organometallic chemistry in organic synthesis and other areas, such as olefin oligomerisation. There have been rapid developments in recent years in the synthetic application of organometallic catalysts. However, fundamental mechanistic insights have frequently lagged behind synthetic developments in this area. This session will focus on work that has been done to uncover the physical processes behind important synthetic and industrial applications, as this understanding is important in allowing the rational design of more efficient, selective catalysts in the future.


York, United Kingdom

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