The major research thrust in Professor Liming Zhang’s group is homogeneous gold catalysis ranging from discovery of novel reactivities, design of new ligands, development of versatile synthetic methods and application in natural product synthesis. The pioneer contributions of his research group to the rapid rise of gold chemistry include tandem transformations of propargylic carboxylates; cycloaddition reactions with gold-containing, all-carbon, 1,n-dipoles; cross coupling reactions via Au(I)/Au(III) catalysis; gold vinylidene chemistry; and catalyzed alkyne oxidation. The last topic, especially when using an external oxidant, offers facile access to synthetically highly versatile α-oxo gold carbenes from readily available alkynes in an operationally safe manner. In contrast, the conventional approach to generating these intermediates requires the use of hazardous and potentially explosive diazo ketones, which in addition are often difficult and/or inefficient to synthesize. His group has introduced into the field several new and effective gold(I) complexes with bulky and electron-rich phosphine ligands (including phosphines developed by Buchwald and Stradiotto), and is currently working on the development of novel ligands for highly versatile gold catalysis.
Research. Development. Production.
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