Molecular Iodine-Catalyzed Carbonyl-Olefin Metathesis

The carbonyl-olefin metathesis reaction is a synthetically valuable transformation that could facilitate rapid functional group interconversion and construction of new organic structures. Herein we demonstrate that elemental iodine, a very simple and mild catalyst, can efficiently promote this chemical transformation under mild reaction conditions with excellent outcomes. Our mechanistic studies revealed intriguing aspects of iodine activation mode that could change the previously established perception of catalyst and substrate design for the carbonyl-olefin metathesis reaction.