Nickel(0) Catalysts in Organic Synthesis
09 March 2005 (online)
With the rapid expansion of the utility of palladium catalysts in organic synthesis, nickel catalysts, including nickel(0) catalysts, have been arousing great attention and efforts in recent years. A great deal of work has demonstrated that the Ni(0)-catalyzed carbon-carbon bond forming reaction is an extremely powerful tool in organic synthesis.  Using Ni(0) catalysts, it is often possible to invoke reactivity with substrates that are not activated by palladium analogues, or to perform reactions using less forcing conditions. In addition, nickel is a significantly cheaper alternative to palladium. In recent years, they have been applied in a wide range of organic transformations. Even though the use of Ni(0) catalyst in organic synthesis is still in its early stages compared to the widespread utility of Pd catalysts, it is certain that future work from various research groups will greatly expand the use of this chemistry both in industry and academia.
Due to their high air sensitivity, Ni(0) catalysts are most commonly generated in situ first by the reduction of stable Ni(II) complexes with strong reducing reagents and then by association with bulky ligands.
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