Investigations of the mechanisms of oxygen atom transfer reactions of
transition metal organometallic complexes are mainly related to their abundance in
chemical syntheses and biological oxidation processes. They are important stages in the
catalytic and enzymatic oxidation cycles of substrates, as well as in the catalytic
oxidation of water.
These brief notes on the mechanisms of oxygen atom transfer reactions involve certain fundamentals (geometric and electronic structures, spin states and reactivity of oxocomplexes), as well as some specific peculiarities of the oxo-atom transfer reactions of transition metal complexes (hydrogen atom abstraction and oxygen rebound mechanisms, intra- and intermolecular types of oxo-atom transfer, multistate reactivity). This chapter introduces readers to the categorization and place of oxo-atom transfer reactions in the classification of catalytic oxidation processes in the context of general problems of the mechanisms in this area. The chapter also provides readers with certain data on the activation of dioxygen and the functionalization of C-H bonds in oxidation processes via the oxo-atom transfer reactions of transition metal complexes. The role of the two and multiple spin states reactivity in the mechanisms of these reactions has also been discussed.
This chapter is written mainly for non-specialist readers in this area and serves as a general introduction to the next chapters of this collection of works.