Multisite catalysis: a mechanistic study of beta-lactone synthesis from epoxides and CO--insights into a difficult case of homogeneous catalysis.

Carbonylation of epoxides with a combination of Lewis acids and cobalt carbonyls was studied by both theoretical and experimental methods. Only multisite catalysis opens a low-energy pathway for trans opening of oxirane rings. This ring-opening reaction is not easily achieved with a single-site metal catalyst due to structural and thermodynamic constraints… (More)