Recent advances in the chemistry and applications of N-heterocyclic carbenes
P. Bellotti, M. Koy, M. N. Hopkinson,* F. Glorius* – 2021
N-Heterocyclic carbenes — despite being isolated and characterised three decades ago — still capture scientists’ interest as versatile, modular and strongly-coordinating moieties. In the last decade — driven by the increasingly refined fundamental understanding of their behaviour, the emergence of new carbene frameworks and cogent sustainability issues — NHCs have experienced a tremendous increase in utilisation across several disparate fields. In this review, a concise overview of N-heterocyclic carbenes encompassing their history, properties and applications in transition metal catalysis, main-group chemistry, on-surface chemistry and organocatalysis is provided. Emphasis is placed on developments emerging in the last six years and on envisaging future directions.