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Keywords:

  • cyclization;
  • heterocycles;
  • metallabenzene;
  • osmium;
  • reactive intermediates
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Caught in the act: Key intermediates in an iodine-mediated electrophilic cyclization reaction was isolated by introducing metallabenzenes as the starting material. The unique structure of the intermediate should be described as the intimate ion pair form, instead of the widely accepted iodonium ion form.