The Pauson-Khand reaction is an organic reaction used to convert an alkyne and alkene to a substituted cyclopentenone under an atmosphere of carbon. There are still some synthetic chemists who hesitate to use metal-mediated or -catalysed reactions. The Pauson–Khand reaction (PKR) is a. The Pauson-Khand Reaction: The inter- or intramolecular cobalt-catalyzed synthesis of cyclopentenones via coupling of an alkyne, an alkene, and carbon.


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The Pauson—Khand reaction PKR is a powerful transformation that has now been sufficiently well developed to be routinely considered when planning a synthesis, especially of polycyclic complex molecules.

Recent Advances in the Pauson–Khand Reaction

This tutorial review aims to encourage the use of this process explaining the best ways of performing a PKR paulson khand reaction in the stoichiometric and the catalytic version, showing the scope of the process and its limitations.

Additionally, paulson khand reaction can be introduced in the reaction using several strategies, which will be discussed. The most recent examples of the synthetic applications of the PKR in natural product synthesis will give the reader an idea of the great usefulness of this reaction.

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From left to right: In she enjoyed a three month stay in the group of Prof. Roberto Pellicciari Universita di Perugia, Italy.

Pauson-Khand Reaction

She became Assistant Lecturer in and she is currently working on metal-mediated paulson khand reaction of allenes and enynoindoles. She is currently working on metal-catalysed cyclization in PKR and metathesis.

Sierra and Benito Alcaide. Since he has been assistant professor at the Universidad San Pablo-CEU, where he works on metal catalysed cyclization reactions.


This implies the formation paulson khand reaction three new bonds and one or two cycles in the intermolecular or intramolecular versions, respectively Scheme 1. Scheme 1 Connectivity of the Pauson—Khand reaction.

The aim of this review will be to point out recent advances in this field and to encourage the use of this reaction for the synthesis of complex molecules. There are indeed few reactions that can compete paulson khand reaction the Pauson—Khand in the construction of great molecular complexity in one step.

Recent Advances in the Pauson–Khand Reaction

This reaction was first reported in the seventies. At the beginning it was carried out thermally under relatively severe conditions, and led to transformations of generally low efficiency.

Until the mid-nineties, dicobalt octacarbonyl was the only cluster used to mediate the reaction. With the exception of propynoic acid derivatives, all paulson khand reaction underwent the reaction. On the other hand, only strained olefins reacted efficiently under the original reaction conditions.

With respect to regioselectivity, the bulkier substituent of the alkyne is placed adjacent to the carbonyl in the cyclopentenone product.

Unsymmetrical olefins usually paulson khand reaction mixtures of regioisomers Scheme 2.

In the early eighties Schore introduced the intramolecular version of this reaction. Until recently this version allowed the formation of 5.

The main problem with the mechanism of the Pauson—Khand reaction is that beyond the cobalt-hexacarbonylalkyne complex, it is difficult to detect further intermediates.