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Carbon–Carbon & Carbon–Heteroatom Activation

  1. Robert H. Crabtree

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia287

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Crabtree, R. H. 2006. Carbon–Carbon & Carbon–Heteroatom Activation. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


Activation involves binding of the intact C[BOND]C or C[BOND]X bond to the metal followed by C[BOND]C or C[BOND]X bond cleavage. Both aspects are considered here. The activation of CC bonds is facilitated by an enforced close approach of the CC bond to the metal or by the presence of a strong driving force such as a strained ring starting material or aromatization during the reaction. The reactivity order is: sp–sp > sp2–sp2 > sp3–sp3. The activation of CX bonds occurs by a number of mechanistic pathways depending on the system. Halocarbon complexes of type R[BOND]X[BOND]M are often intermediates and can be isolated in favorable cases.


  • alkyl;
  • halocarbon;
  • strain;
  • chelation;
  • catalysis