Triazolylidenes have rapidly emerged as a powerful subclass of N-heterocyclic carbene ligands for transition metals. They are readily available through regioselective [2 + 3] cycloaddition of alkynes and azides and subsequent metallation according to procedures established for related carbenes. Due to their mesoionic character, triazolylidenes are stronger donors than Arduengo-type imidazol-2-ylidenes. Spurred by these attractive attributes and despite their only recent emergence, triazolylidenes have shown major implications in catalysis. This feature article summarises the synthetic accessibility of triazolylidene metal complexes and their electronic and structural characteristics, and it compiles their applications, in particular, as catalyst precursors for various bond forming and redox reactions, as well as first approaches into photophysical and biochemical domains.
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