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Keywords:

  • aryl anions;
  • electron transfer;
  • reduction;
  • synthetic methods
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

It takes two to cyclize: Aryl halides are reduced to aryl anions by double electron transfer from the neutral ground-state electron donor 1 (see scheme), as shown by the formation of a cyclic ketone (2). The reduced compound (3) is also formed. Calculations show that the loss of two electrons from 1 is both thermodynamically and kinetically viable and generates a more planar resonance-stabilized structure.