Characterization of the Key Intermediates of Carbene-Catalyzed Umpolung by NMR Spectroscopy and X-Ray Diffraction: Breslow Intermediates, Homoenolates, and Azolium Enolates


  • Support by the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie and by BASF SE is gratefully acknowledged. A.B. acknowledges COST membership (CM0905, Organocatalysis).


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Caught in the act: Diamino enols, diamino dienols, azolium enolates, and azolium enols are postulated intermediates of the N-heterocyclic carbene catalyzed umpolung of aldehydes and enals. Several of these elusive reaction intermediates were generated with the saturated imidazolidin-2-ylidene SIPr (R=2,6-bis(2-propyl)phenyl) and characterized by NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography.