A Generalized Kinetic Model for Compartmentalization of Organometallic Catalysis

06 December 2021, Version 4
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Compartmentalization is an attractive approach to enhance catalytic activity by retaining reactive intermediates and mitigating deactivating pathways. Such a concept has been well explored in biochemical and more recently, organometallic catalysis to ensure high reaction turnovers with minimal side reactions. However, a scarcity of theoretical framework towards confined organometallic chemistry impedes a broader utility for the implementation of compartmentalization. Herein, we report a general kinetic model and offer design guidance for a compartmentalized organometallic catalytic cycle. In comparison to a non-compartmentalized catalysis, compartmentalization is quantitatively shown to prevent the unwanted intermediate deactivation, boost the corresponding reaction efficiency (γ), and subsequently increase catalytic turnover frequency (TOF). The key parameter in the model is the volumetric diffusive conductance (F_V) that describes catalysts’ diffusion propensity across a compartment’s boundary. Optimal values of F_V for a specific organometallic chemistry are needed to achieve maximal values of γ and TOF. As illustrated in specific reaction examples, our model suggests that a tailored compartment design, including the use of nanomaterials, is needed to suit a specific organometallic catalytic cycle. This work provides justification and design principles for further exploration into compartmentalizing organometallics to enhance catalytic performance. The conclusions from this work are generally applicable to other catalytic systems that need proper design guidance in confinement and compartmentalization.


Organometallic Catalysis
Mathematical Modelling


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