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Rational Design of a Gold Carbene Precursor Complex for a Catalytic Cyclopropanation Reaction


  • The support from ETH Zürich and Swiss Nationalfonds is gratefully acknowledged. We thank: Dr. Bernd Schweizer for the crystal structure determination, Dr. Daniel Serra and Dr. Tim den Hartog for useful discussions, and Armin Limacher and Dino Wu for synthetic support.


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Bridging gas- and solution-phase chemistry: A gold(I) carbene precursor complex has been developed and investigated for catalytic cyclopropanation. Formation of the carbene intermediate was first probed by mass spectrometry, followed by cyclopropanation of p-methoxystyrene in solution. The imidazolylidene leaving group serves as a base generated in situ that is necessary in the putative catalytic cycle.