Alkynes as metal carbene precursors

Metal carbenes are a hugely powerful tool for molecular synthesis. They enable the ready preparation of carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds across a huge diversity of transformations. We have been working on ways to access their potential directly from triple bonds in a controlled fashion to underpin efficient new transformations. We aim to streamline synthesis – avoiding the issues associated with installing highly reactive sacrificial groups like diazo compounds – and access carbene-type reactivity in previously inaccessible chemical environments as a means to access novel transformations and useful structures. Some examples of our approaches are shown below.

A number of these approaches have been used to access sulfonium ylide chemistry (see here for more details).

A general strategy: oxidation of ynamides to generate lactams
Polycycles from ynamides

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