Zero-valent palladium precatalysts containing rigid bidentate bis(arylimino)acenaphthene ligands (shown schematically) facilitate the highly stereoselective homogeneous catalytic hydrogenation of alkynes to (Z)-alkenes. Internal, terminal, aryl-substituted, and cyclic alkynes are suitable substrates, as are some enynes, which are chemoselectively hydrogenated to dienes. E=CO2Me; R1, R2=4-OCH3, 4-CH3, 2,6-(CH3)2.
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