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Chem Sci. 2013 Aug 1;4(8):3020-3030.

Carbene-Stabilized Main Group Radicals and Radical Ions.

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Joint CNRS-UCSD Research Laboratory (UMI 3555), Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0358.


Shortly after their discovery at the end of the 80s, stable singlet carbenes have been recognized as excellent ligands for transition metal based catalysts, and as organo-catalysts in their own right. At the end of the 2000s, it has been shown that they can coordinate main group elements in their zero oxidation state, and even activate small molecules. This review covers examples in the literature dealing with the most recent application of stable singlet carbenes, namely their use to stabilize radicals and radical ions that are otherwise unstable.

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