The Measure of All Rings—N-Heterocyclic Carbenes



Quantification and variation of characteristic properties of different ligand classes is an exciting and rewarding research field. N-Heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are of special interest since their electron richness and structure provide a unique class of ligands and organocatalysts. Consequently, they have found widespread application as ligands in transition-metal catalysis and organometallic chemistry, and as organocatalysts in their own right. Herein we provide an overview on physicochemical data (electronics, sterics, bond strength) of NHCs that are essential for the design, application, and mechanistic understanding of NHCs in catalysis.