Stoichiometric and catalytic reactivity of organometallic fragments supported on inorganic oxides

Susannah L. Scott, Jean-Marie Maurice Basset*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The reaction of some organometallic complexes with the surfaces of inorganic oxides leads to the formation of surface organometallic complexes, chemically bound to the surface yet retaining many features of their molecular structure. These surface organometallic complexes can therefore be considered to belong to both the molecular and solid states. In cases where such complexes have been structurally characterised, their reactivity can be interpreted with molecular concepts. In this review article, the stoichiometric and catalytic reactivity of some relatively well-defined surface organometallic fragments is surveyed. Many elementary steps which have precedent in molecular organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis have now been demonstrated with surface organometallic fragments, including reversible ligand binding, oxidative addition, reductive elimination, protonation, heterolytic metal-carbon bond cleavage, electrophilic CH bond activation and insertion into metal-carbon bonds. In some cases, the supported organometallic complexes are highly effective low temperature catalysts, a phenomenon which is not always observed with molecular analogues nor with conventionally prepared heterogeneous catalysts. Applications of surface organometallic chemistry to catalytic alkane hydrogenolysis, olefin isomerisation and hydrogenation, the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and the water-gas shift reaction are discussed. Proposed mechanisms for several representative catalytic cycles are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of molecular catalysis
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 3 1994


  • catalytic reactivity
  • inorganic oxides
  • organometallic fragments
  • surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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