Iron-Stabilized Carbocations as Intermediates for Organic Synthesis

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Science  02 Mar 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4639, pp. 895-901
DOI: 10.1126/science.223.4639.895


Attachment of a transition metal moiety to an olefinic ligand presents the organic chemist with unequaled opportunities to control the regio- and stereospecificities of bond formation. Applications of cationic dienyliron-carbonyl complexes to a range of natural product syntheses have been developed. These applications show how the iron-carbonyl unit directs the regio- and stereochemistry of nucleophile addition. They also show that the iron-carbonyl unit can be used to stabilize otherwise inaccessible carbocations, thereby making them readily available as synthetic intermediates.