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Keywords:

  • N-heterocyclic carbene analogues;
  • ligand design;
  • pincer;
  • transition metals;
  • π acceptor
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Pince me: N-heterocyclic nitrenium cations have been framed into pincer motifs to explore their unprecedented ligand behavior to transition metals. This work fills a long-standing gap in the series of main-group N-heterocyclic carbene(NHC)-type ligands (see picture). Reasonable π-acceptor and weak σ-donor properties of these new ligands are expected to play a pivotal role in many organometallic reactions and in catalysis in the near future.