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Keywords:

  • asymmetric catalysis;
  • carbene ligands;
  • domino reactions;
  • gold;
  • metal-π interactions
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Creating an asymmetric environment at AuI is a challenge because of the linear coordination geometry of the ion. In their Communication on page 2912 ff., S. Handa and L. M. Slaughter report the highly enantioselective catalysis of a tandem addition/cycloisomerization reaction of alkynylbenzaldehydes by chiral gold carbene complexes containing weak metal–π interactions. These secondary interactions help to create an asymmetric pocket around the gold atom that is analogous to a baseball glove gripping a ball. (Picture by L. M. Slaughter and S. Ball.)