ReaLigands: A Ligand Library Cultivated from Experiment and Intended for Molecular Computational Catalyst Design

18 August 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Computational catalyst design requires identification of a metal and ligand that together result in the desired reaction reactivity and/or selectivity. A major impediment to translating computational designs to experiment is evaluating ligands that are likely to be synthesized. Here we provide a solution to this impediment with our ReaLigands library that contains >30,000 monodentate, bidentate (didentate), tridentate, and larger ligands cultivated by dismantling experimentally reported crystal structures. Individual ligands from mononuclear crystal structures were identified using a modified depth-first search algorithm and charge was assigned using a machine learning model based on quantum-chemical calculated features. In the library ligands are sorted based on direct ligand-to-metal atomic connections and on denticity. Representative principal component analysis (PCA) and uniform manifold approximation and projection (UMAP) analyses were used to analyze several tridentate ligand categories, which revealed both the diversity of ligands and connections between ligand categories. We also demonstrated the utility of this library by implementing it with our building and optimization tools, which resulted in the very rapid generation of barriers for 750 bidentate ligands for Rh-hydride ethylene migratory insertion

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