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Abnormal carbene reactivity uncovered

Prof Derek Gates and his student Josh Bates, in collaboration with Prof Pierre Kennepohl, have investigated the electronic structure of an abnormal carbene generated from the reaction of NHCs with phosphaalkenes to form 4-phosphino-2-carbenes. Josh discovered this surprising reactivity and probed possible reaction pathways using computational methods; the details of this study were published as a communication in Angew. Chem. and was subsequently highlighted by Chemical & Engineering News in its December 7th issue.