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A synthetic method to prepare 1-naphthyl ketones from gold(i)-catalysed oxidative cycloisomerisation of 1,6-diyne acetates is described. The proposed mechanism involves cyclopropenation-cycloreversion of the 1,6-diyne motif initiated by a 1,2-acyloxy migration. This is followed by nucleophilic attack of the ensuing gold carbenoid species by a molecule of water and autoxidation to give the aromatic product.
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