Light guided chemoselective olefin metathesis reactions

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An appealing concept in synthetic chemistry is photo-induced catalysis; where dormant complexes become catalytically active upon activation with light. The ruthenium-based olefin metathesis complexes founded on the original Grubbs catalyst have probably been one of the most widely studied families of catalysts for the past 25 years. Greater stability and versatility of these olefin-metathesis catalysts has been achieved by careful design of the ligand sphere, including latent catalysts which are activated by external stimuli. This article describes our recent developments towards light-induced olefin metathesis reactions based on photoactive sulfur-chelated ruthenium benzylidene catalysts. Alternative chemical reactions, be it photo-induced olefin metathesis or other direct photochemical processes, by using light of different frequencies were studied in chemoselective chromatic orthogonal pathways. The lessons learned during the development of these reactions have given birth to selective photo-deprotection sequences and novel pathways for stereolithographic applications.

Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)829-840
Number of pages12
JournalPure and Applied Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • chromatic orthogonality
  • ICPOC-23
  • latent catalysts
  • olefin metathesis
  • photochemistry
  • ruthenium complexes


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