Design concepts for N-heterocyclic carbene ligands

Fady Nahra, David J. Nelson, Steven P. Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are a widely used class of ligands that have enabled an exciting variety of organometallic chemistry and catalysis. As researchers design and customize these ligands for specific applications, various design concepts have emerged. This review covers several of these design concepts and their impact on and promise for organometallic chemistry and catalysis. These concepts are bulky ligands that remain flexible for substrate binding and reactivity, ring-expanded NHCs with different steric and electronic properties, NHCs appended to supramolecular assemblies that control the microenvironment around the metal center; and NHCs with pendant labile functional groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1113
JournalTrends in Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020


  • N-heterocyclic carbene ligands
  • organometallic chemistry
  • homogeneous catalysis
  • ligand design


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