In contrast to previous beliefs, the reactivity of heavier low-valent main group (MG) elements resembles more of those of transition metals (TMs) than of their lighter counterparts, as exemplified by oxidative addition reactions mediated by low-valent MG centers. However, oxidative addition processes generate thermodynamically stable products that often prevent catalytic turnover by redox processes. We have just started to explore the role of sterically hindered TM complexes in close proximity to these highly reactive MG centers to exploit the opportunity of developing cooperative routes towards the activation of small molecules and, eventually, to design catalytic cycles based on MG/TM systems.
First papers arriving soon! or so we hope… 🙂