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Keywords:

  • Heck reaction;
  • homogeneous catalysis;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • reaction mechanisms;
  • reactive intermediates
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Key ionic intermediates of the Heck reaction of arene diazonium salts have been intercepted and structurally characterized by ESI-MS/MS. The use of electrospray ionization enables the ionic species to be transferred smoothly to the gas phase. A catalytic cycle for this reaction involving all the Pd cationic species intercepted has been proposed (see scheme).