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Keywords:

  • basicity;
  • carbenes;
  • imidazolium cations;
  • steric hindrance;
  • synthetic methods
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

It's getting crowded! The synthesis of a new subfamily of imidazolium cations with exceptionally spatially demanding substitution patterns (see scheme) paved the way to reconcile two antagonising effects: steric hindrance and innately high donating ability/basicity in the peralkylated imidazol-2-ylidene ligands/uncharged bases.