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Keywords:

  • phosphorus;
  • phosphanes;
  • synthetic methods;
  • structure elucidation;
  • green chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Going uphill: The diverse chemistry established for phosphorus is mainly focused on neutral or anionic examples. Therefore, an extension of research efforts towards cationic phosphorus compounds would be desirable. However, the preparation of such compounds is restricted because of synthetic limitations. In their Full Paper on page 1805, Jan J. Weigand and co-workers at the University of Münster describe a new method for the conversion of phosphane oxides into synthetically useful cationic organophosphorus compounds using a highly-charged phosphorus-centered trication under very mild reaction and work-up conditions. Furthermore, the protocol developed for the reaction might also be applicable for the transformation of functional phosphane oxides, implementing a novel synthetic route to tertiary phosphanes that are used as ligands in transition-metal-mediated reactions.