The generation of α-ferrocenyl carbocations from ferrocenyl alcohols for SN1 substitution at the water–organic solvent interface is initiated by the transfer of protons into the organic phase. The proton flux, and hence the reaction rate, can be controlled by addition of a suitable “phase-transfer catalyst” anion or by external polarization with a potentiostat, providing a new method for the synthesis of ferrocene derivatives.
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