A Comparative Review of Computational Methods as Applied to Gold(I) Complexes and Mechanisms
In the last two decades, the field of homogeneous gold catalysis has been
extremely active, growing at a rapid pace. Another rapidly-growing field—that of
computational chemistry—has often been applied to the investigation of various gold-
catalyzed reaction mechanisms. Unfortunately, a number of recent mechanistic studies
have utilized computational methods that have been shown to be inappropriate and
inaccurate in their description of gold chemistry. This work presents an overview of
available computational methods with a focus on the approximations and limitations
inherent in each, and offers a review of experimentally-characterized gold(I) complexes
and proposed mechanisms as compared with their computationally-modeled
counterparts. No aim is made to identify a “recommended” computational method for
investigations of gold catalysis; rather, discrepancies between experimentally and
computationally obtained values are highlighted, and the systematic errors between
different computational methods are discussed.
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