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Ring-closing metathesis or RCM is a variation on olefin metathesis that allows the closing of previously hard to make rings (7-8 member rings in particular). RCM is simply an intramolecular olefin metathesis with a Grubbs' catalyst, yielding the cycloalkene and a volatile alkene, in this example ethene.
Additional recommended knowledge
Many metathesis reactions with ruthenium catalysts are hampered by unwanted isomerization of the newly formed double bond and it is believed that ruthenium hydrides are responsible that form as a side reaction. In one study it is found that isomerization is suppressed in the RCM reaction of diallyl ether with specific additives capable of removing these hydrides (scheme 2). Without an additive, the reaction product is 2,3-dihydrofuran and not the expected 2,5-dihydrofuran (together with the formation of ethylene gas). Radical scavengers such as TEMPO or phenol as an additive show the same picture but with additives such as 1,4-benzoquinone or acetic acid on the other hand isomerization is absent. Both additives are able to oxidize the ruthenium hydrides which may explain their behaviour.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ring-closing_metathesis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|