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Keywords:

  • alkali metal;
  • alkylation;
  • amides;
  • homogeneous catalysis;
  • zinc
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Undercover agent: Masquerading as a simple donor-acceptor complex (1), sodium amide substoichiometrically activates tBu2Zn for the challenging 1,6-addition of a tert-butyl group to benzophenone. In contrast, the nonactivated tBu2Zn is ineffectual.