For my original research proposal in my Ph.D. candidacy exam, I proposed this bimetallic molybdenum-rhodium compound as a homogeneous catalyst for the conversion of synthesis gas (also known as syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) to ethylene glycol. The bifunctional ligand linking an N-heterocyclic carbene donor and a cyclopentadienyl donor is known (K. S. Coleman, S. Turberville, S. I. Pascu, M. L. H. Green. Tetrahedron Letters, 2004, 45, 8695) but its use in heterobimetallic complexes has not yet been reported.
Bimetallic systems featuring combinations of early and late transition metals, including Mo-Rh systems, have also been previously proposed as catalysts for syngas conversion (N. Wheatley, P. Kalck. Chem. Rev. 1999, 99, 3379). Unfortunately, early transition metals (metals from the left side of the d-block) are typically so oxophilic that the formation of strong metal-oxygen bonds precludes the possibility of catalytic turnover in syngas conversion, hence my choice to propose molybdenum as a relatively less oxophilic early metal.
I’m currently using my proposed chemical structure as my tumblr avatar.