This laboratory experiment demonstrates the important utility of transition-metal complexes as catalysts in the addition reaction of carbon tetrabromide (CBr4) to select alkenes. This application offers students the opportunity to understand why transition-metal complexes are worth synthesizing. The experiment builds on fundamental theories presented during first-year general chemistry courses and integrates concepts taught in organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organometallics, and instrumental analysis. It incorporates some advanced laboratory practices for students to assimilate with, such as literature searches and interpretation; organometallic compound analysis; catalysis experiment design; reaction mechanisms; NMR spectroscopy with comprehensive spectra interpretation; and X-ray crystallography.
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