The synthesis of designed organometallic compounds and their selective activation and transformation into materials of high purity (for electronic applications), high strength and/or high temperature stability (for refrac-tory or structural applications), represents a potential area of extreme growth in organometallic chemistry. Research in this area could provide entirely new, inexpensive, fabrication methods for common and exotic materials.
In this paper, we develop design principles for the preparation of organometallic precursors, “premetallics” that can be selectively con-verted, in high yields, to a desired refractory metal. We also describe our preliminary efforts to prepare tungsten carbides (WCx) from a pre-metallic. Pyrolysis studies using Cp2W2(CO)4(DMAD) [DMAD = Dimethyl-acetylene dicarboxylate], 5, as the premetallic demonstrate that 5 will decompose at temperatures of ∼ 700°C to give good yields of W2C. 5 is soluble and decomposes fully in 10–20 minutes, without the need of another reactant.