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Nature. 2008 Sep 18;455(7211):314-22. doi: 10.1038/nature07369.

Carbon-heteroatom bond formation catalysed by organometallic complexes.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois, 600 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


At one time the synthetic chemist's last resort, reactions catalysed by transition metals are now the preferred method for synthesizing many types of organic molecule. A recent success in this type of catalysis is the discovery of reactions that form bonds between carbon and heteroatoms (such as nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur, silicon and boron) via complexes of transition metals with amides, alkoxides, thiolates, silyl groups or boryl groups. The development of these catalytic processes has been supported by the discovery of new elementary reactions that occur at metal-heteroatom bonds and by the identification of factors that control these reactions. Together, these findings have led to new synthetic processes that are in daily use and have formed a foundation for the development of processes that are likely to be central to synthetic chemistry in the future.

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