Nickel-Catalyzed Inter- and Intramolecular Carbon-Sulfur Bond Metathesis by Reversible Arylation

A nickel-catalyzed carbon-sulfur bond metathesis has been developed to access high-value thioethers. 1,2-bis(dicyclohexylphosphino)ethane (dcype) is essential to promote this highly functional group tolerant reaction. Further, synthetically challenging macrocycles could be obtained in good yield in an unusual example of ring-closing metathesis which does not involve alkene bonds. In-depth organometallic studies support a reversible Ni(0)-Ni(II) pathway to product formation. Overall, this work does not only disclose a more sustainable and more functional group tolerant alternative to previous catalytic systems based on Pd, but also presents new applications and mechanistic information which are highly relevant to the further development and application of unusual single bond metathesis reactions.