We investigated the C-H bond activation mechanism of aldimine by the [RhCl(PPH3)3] model catalyst using DFT B3LYP//SBKJC/6-31G*/6-31G on GAMESS. Due to their potential utility in organic synthesis, C-H bond activation is one of the most active research fields in organic and organometallic chemistry. C-H bond activation by a transition metal catalyst can be classified into two types of mechanisms: direct C-H bond cleavage by the metal catalyst or a multi-step mechanism via a tetrahedral transition state. There are three structural isomers of [RhCl(PH 3)2] coordinated aldimine that differ in the position of chloride with respect to the molecular plane. By comparing activation energies of the overall reaction pathways that the three isomeric structures follow in each mechanism, we found that the C-H bond activation of aldimine by the [RhCl(PH3)3] catalyst occurs through the tetrahedral intermediate.
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