Chemistry of Iron N -heterocyclic carbene complexes: Syntheses, structures, reactivities, and catalytic applications

Korbinian Riener, Stefan Haslinger, Andreas Raba, Manuel Peter Hogerl, Mirza Cokoja, Wolfgang A. Herrmann, Fritz Kühn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

349 Scopus citations


Iron is the most abundant transition metal in Earth's crust. It is relatively inexpensive, not very toxic, and environmentally benign. Undoubtedly, due to the involvement in a multitude of biological processes, which heavily rely on the rich functionalities of iron-containing enzymes, iron is one of the most important elements in nature. Additionally, three-coordinate iron complexes have been reported during the past several years. In this review, the mentioned iron NHC complexes are categorized by their main structure and reactivity attributes. Thus, monocarbene and bis-monocarbene complexes are presented first. This class is subdivided into carbonyl, nitrosyl, and halide compounds followed by a brief section on other, more unconventional iron NHC motifs. Subsequently, donor-substituted complexes bearing bi-, tri-, tetra-, or even pentadentate ligands and further pincer as well as scorpionato motifs are described.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5215-5272
Number of pages58
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 21 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge support and funding from the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the EU Project Next-GTL, the Wacker Chemie AG, and the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) Graduate School. Furthermore, we thank Mathias Esser for designing the cover art.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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