Organomagnesium halides of the general structure R-Mg-X, with R= Alkyl, alkenyl or Aryl and X= Halogen, are called Grignard reagents after their inventor.
They are extremely valuable and widely used synthetic tools, mainly as carbanions in nucleophilic additions and substitution-reactions but also in a range of other transformations.
Grignard reagents are generally prepared by the reaction of an organic halide with metallic magnesium ('metallation') in dry diethyl ether or tetrahydrofuran. In addition to metallation, numerous other methods for the preparation of Grignard reagents have been developed:
- transmetallation of other organometallic compounds with anhydrous magnesium salts
- sulfoxide/magnesium exchange
- reaction with highly active magnesium
- reaction with magnesium anthracene complex
- iodine-magnesium exchange
- exchange reaction using organo magnesium 'ate' complexes
- transition metal-catalyzed Grignard formation
- mercury-magnesium exchange
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