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Bifunctional beginnings

In the early 1980s, Shvo and co-workers reported a molecular ruthenium complex that was active in the catalytic dehydrogenation of alcohols and the hydrogenation of carbonyl compounds. Although the reactions themselves were already known, the ligand represented a new paradigm in bond formation/breaking processes that influences homogeneous catalysis to this day.

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Fig. 1: Cooperativity in complexes of bifunctional cyclopentadienone/hydroxycyclopentadienyl ligands was discovered by Shvo and co-workers and has been harnessed in diverse transformations.


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Correspondence to Rosie J. Somerville.

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Somerville, R.J. Bifunctional beginnings. Nat Rev Chem (2021).

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