Anne Fiksdahl and PhD Candidate

Gold(I) catalysis in organic synthetic chemistry

Gold(I) catalysis in organic synthetic chemistry

We are developing new organic reactions catalysed by gold(I) complexes through the NFR-funded project "Gold(I) Catalysis in Organic Synthesis"

Gold catalysis has been neglected by organic chemists for a long time. However, homogenous gold catalysis of organic reactions has in recent few years become a rapidly expanding field. Gold complexes are less oxophilic than other common Lewis acids, but they are highly reactive as carbon Lewis acids (e.g. double and triple bonds). Gold catalysts can therefore react in a very selective way and give access to highly complex molecules. Gold complexes coordinate to C-C multiple bonds. Gold catalysts interact with the p-system and activates for nucleophilic attack, as shown below. In recent years homogeneous gold catalysis has emerged considerable attention for the activation and subsequent functionalization of alkynes: