From riches to rags?

That’s right, the other way around. Tonight we are talking about “passing the baton” to a weaker link. You are probably wondering what I am talking about. Here is a paper from my vault and the reason I continue to like this old contribution by Grigg and co-workers is that it is different from what we are accustomed to in the area of transition metal catalysis. We are used to seeing a lowly element such as boron, silicon, or tin pass the baton to a world-class metal such as palladium during transmetallation. But the reverse is happening in the Grigg case, which carries a certain unintended justice for the little guy. Earlier today I was discussing indium-mediated allylation reactions with my students and remembered the ChemComm article by Grigg. In the allylation reaction shown below, palladium starts the reaction, but indium is the one that finishes it up. Some might say that this is akin to putting a Lamborghini engine on a VW bug, but you know what: last time I checked, VW actually owns Lamborghini (this is a fact, by the way). I have to admit that this palladium-to-indium business is still a rarity. But it does have its place under the sun.


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