The fixation of dinitrogen to ammonia provides the nitrogen feedstock for the nutrition of about half of the earth's population and for the production of basically all synthetic N-containing chemicals. The Haber-Bosch process that operates at about 200 million tons pa is highly energy intensive, consuming about 1?2% of the global energy demand. For these reasons, N 2 fixation at ambient conditions, which is accomplished in nature by the nitrogenase enzymes, is a highly attractive, yet still challenging task for homogeneous catalysis.
In recent years, our group examined elementary reactions relevant to such N 2 -fixation strategies, such as nitride hydrogenolysis and coupling, [1,2] thermal and electrochemical N 2 splitting into molecular nitrides,  or the direct conversion of N 2 to organic molecules (Figure),  using transition metal pincer complexes. In this context, mechanistic aspects of key reactions and electronic structure / reactivity relationships for pivotal intermediates will be discussed.
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