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    The nucleation process yielding Ir(0)∼300 nanoparticles from (Bu4N)5Na3[(1,5-COD)Ir·P2W15Nb3O62] (abbreviated hereafter as (COD)Ir·POM8-, where POM9- = the polyoxometalate, P2W15Nb3O629-) under H2 is investigated to learn the true molecularity, and hence the associated kinetically effective nucleus (KEN), for nanoparticle formation for the first time. Recent work with this prototype transition-metal nanoparticle formation system ( J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014 , 136 , 17601 - 17615 ) revealed that nucleation in this system is an apparent second-order in the precatalyst, A = (COD)Ir·POM8-, not the higher order implied by classic nucleation theory and its nA ⇌ An, "critical nucleus", An concept. Herein, the three most reasonable more intimate mechanisms of nucleation are tested: bimolecular nucleation, termolecular nucleation, and a mechanism termed "alternative termolecular nucleation" in which 2(COD)Ir+ and 1(COD)Ir·POM8- yield the transition state of the rate-determining step of nucleation. The results obtained definitively rule out a simple bimolecular nucleation mechanism and provide evidence for the alternative termolecular mechanism with a KEN of 3, Ir3. All higher molecularity nucleation mechanisms were also ruled out. Further insights into the KEN and its more detailed composition involving hydrogen, {Ir3H2xPOM}6-, are also obtained from the established role of H2 in the Ir(0)∼300 formation balanced reaction stoichiometry, from the p(H2) dependence of the kinetics, and from a D2/H2 kinetic isotope effect of 1.2(±0.3). Eight insights and conclusions are presented. A section covering caveats in the current work, and thus needed future studies, is also included.


    Saim Özkar, Richard G Finke. Nanoparticle Nucleation Is Termolecular in Metal and Involves Hydrogen: Evidence for a Kinetically Effective Nucleus of Three {Ir3H2x·P2W15Nb3O62}6- in Ir(0)n Nanoparticle Formation From [(1,5-COD)IrI·P2W15Nb3O62]8- Plus Dihydrogen. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2017 Apr 19;139(15):5444-5457

    PMID: 28379002

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