Highly reactive gold vinylidene species are used for intermolecular C(sp3)H insertions into unactivated alkanes (see scheme). In addition, they can be regarded as synthons for alkylidene carbenes. Initiated by cyclopropanation of the vinylidene species/alkylidene carbenoide, cyclobutene derivatives are formed in a diastereoselective fashion by a ring-enlargement cascade in only one step.
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