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N-Heterocyclic Carbenes as Organocatalysts



Organocatalyzed reactions represent an attractive alternative to metal-catalyzed processes notably because of their lower cost and benign environmental impact in comparison to organometallic catalysis. In this context, N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) have been studied for their ability to promote primarily the benzoin condensation. Lately, dramatic progress in understanding their intrinsic properties and in their synthesis have made them available to organic chemists. This has resulted in a tremendous increase of their scope and in a true explosion of the number of papers reporting NHC-catalyzed reactions. Here, we highlight the ever-increasing number of reactions that can be promoted by N-heterocyclic carbenes.