This Perspective highlights how the methodology of reaction progress kinetic analysis can provide a rapid and comprehensive kinetic profile of complex catalytic reaction networks under synthetically relevant conditions in a fraction of the number of experiments required by classical kinetic analysis. This approach relies on graphical manipulation of the extensive data sets available from accurate in situ monitoring of reaction progress under conditions where two concentration variables are changing simultaneously. A series of examples from Pd-catalyzed coupling reactions of aryl halides demonstrates how a wealth of kinetic information may be extracted from just three experiments in each case. Even before proposing a reaction mechanism, we can determine reaction orders in substrates, propose a resting state for the catalyst, and probe catalyst stability. Carrying out this kinetic analysis at the outset of a mechanistic investigation provides a framework for further work aimed at seeking a molecular-level understanding of the nature of the species within the catalytic cycle. To be considered plausible, any independent mechanistic proposal must be shown to be consistent with this global kinetic analysis.
Mathew, J. S., Klussmann, M., Iwamura, H., Emanuelsson, E. A. C., Blackmond, D. G., Valera, F., & Futran, A. (2006). Investigations of Pd-catalyzed ArX coupling reactions informed by reaction progress kinetic analysis. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 71(13), 4711-4722. https://doi.org/10.1021/jo052409i