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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The author declares no competing interests.
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Somerville, R.J. Bifunctional beginnings. Nat Rev Chem 5, 518–519 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-021-00295-0