The vast field of oxidation catalysis is explored by many groups worldwide. Most of these transformations rely on the use of metal centered catalysts and take advantage of the plethora of oxidation states that metal centers may assume, both in homogeneous and in heterogeneous phases. Biological systems provide a major source of inspiration for these systems, since metalloenzymes conduct such reactions across very elegant and efficient pathways, which are still far from being unravelled.
The aim of this special issue in the inaugural volume of Current Inorganic Chemistry is to provide an overview, as broad as possible, dealing with recent developments in oxidation catalytic systems. Therefore, Arzoumanian wrote a critical mini-review on the use of molybdenum oxo and peroxo complexes to accomplish oxygen atom transfer reactions using dioxygen molecules, reflecting the crescent environmental concern on the use of oxidants in these reactions. The second paper, Royo describes the use of MoO2 complexes with chiral N-heterocyclic ligands for olefin epoxidation, addressing also the role of different oxidants. The next two papers take us into the different field of heterogeneous catalysis. The paper by Calhorda describes the application of layered double hydroxides as useful inorganic supports for active catalysts in olefin epoxidation, while the following work by Nunes addresses the influence of surface treatment in MCM-41 derived materials in product selectivity when using them as olefin epoxidation catalysts. Last but not least, the paper by Kühn reviews some important advances on the use of environmentally friendly solutions for oxidation catalysis - ionic liquids.
While not covering every aspect of oxidation catalysis, these works provide a wide-ranging illustration of several areas, making this issue attractive for all those interested in the development and understanding of olefin oxidation reactions.
Finally, as a guest editor for this special issue, I am very grateful for the valuable and excellent contributions from my colleagues, and I am also highly indebted to all the other colleagues who acted as referees for their expert comments.
A final word of acknowledgment is also due to Ms. Humaira Bilal and Ms. Anila Mufti (Managers of the Publication Department, Current Inorganic Chemistry) for their enthusiasm, dedication and organization of this issue.
Thank you all!