Transition metals are known to stabilize high-energy species and to activate otherwise unreactive ones. The zirconocene unit stabilizes highly strained alkynes and alkenes, allowing their use in selective carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions. This unit also increases the reactivity of unactivated molecules, enabling them to participate in nontraditional transformations. A general route has been developed that allows a wider variety of unsaturated fragments to participate in these reactions. The use of these zirconocene complexes in organic synthesis has led to the development of novel routes to a number of polyfunctionalized organic molecules.
“Zirconocene complexes of unsaturated organic molecules: new vehicles for organic synthesis”, Science, 1993, 261(5129), 1696-701.