Review Articles

Gold coordination during homogeneous alkyne and allene cyclisation catalysis: Coordination to substrates, to ancillary ligands and in intermediates

Helgard G. Raubenheimer, Hubert Schmidbaur
South African Journal of Science | Vol 107, No 3/4 | a459 | DOI: | © 2011 Helgard G. Raubenheimer, Hubert Schmidbaur | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2010 | Published: 16 March 2011

About the author(s)

Helgard G. Raubenheimer, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Hubert Schmidbaur, Technische Universität München, Germany


The ever-increasing role of homogeneous gold catalysis in organic synthesis and the consequent need to be able to rationally control the rate and outcome of such reactions has emphasised the importance of each successive metal–carbon coordination step. Concentrating on alkyne and allene cyclisation and upon reaction mechanisms postulated on the basis of empirical and theoretical results, we have examined the coordination of gold fragments to triple bonds, the modification of gold(I) precatalysts to effect specific reaction pathways or enantioselectivity and the isolation of coordinated intermediates or model compounds thereof. Some of the recent advances that have been made in various laboratories are described in this compact review.


gold catalysts; gold complex intermediates; homogeneous catalysis; mechanistic studies; organic synthesis


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