Alkali metal mediation: diversity of applications in main group organometallic chemistry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Organolithium compounds have been at the forefront of synthetic chemistry for over a century, by mediating the synthesis of myriads of compounds, utilised worldwide across academic and industrial settings. For that reason, lithium has always been the most important alkali metal in organometallic chemistry. Today, that importance is being seriously challenged by sodium and potassium, as organic alkali metal mediation in general has started branching off in several new directions. Recent examples covering main group homogeneous catalysis, stoichiometric organic synthesis, low valent main group metal chemistry, polymerization and green chemistry are showcased in this review. Since alkali metal compounds are often not the end products of these applications, their roles are rarely given top billing. Thus, this review has been written to alert the community to this rising unifying phenomenon of “alkali metal mediation”.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2020


  • Alkali metals
  • catalysis
  • metallation
  • organolithium compounds
  • pi-arene interactions

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