Organic Reaction Mechanisms • 2017, 1 by A. C. Knipe

Organic Reaction Mechanisms ⋅ 2017

An annual survey covering the literature dated January to December 2017

Edited by

A. C. Knipe

University of Ulster
Northern Ireland, UK

M. G. Moloney

University of Oxford
England, UK






Wiley Logo


Faculty of Chemistry, Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Department of Chemistry, University College London, London, UK
Faculty of Chemistry, ‘Al. I. Cuza’ University of Iasi, Iasi, Romania
Laboratoire de Synthèse, Réactivité Organique et Catalyse, Institut de Chimie, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Department of Chemistry, University of Durham, Durham, UK
3 Camphor Laurel Court, Stretton, Queensland, Australia
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, United States
Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination & Institut des Technologies Avancées en sciences du Vivant, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université de Toulouse, Toulouse, France
Department of Organic Chemistry, Charles University, and Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
Department of Chemistry, Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur, India
Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


The present volume, the 53rd in the series, surveys research on organic reaction mechanisms described in the available literature dated 2017. The general format remains as defined in the preface for recent volumes.

This year represents the start of some change for Organic Reaction Mechanisms (ORM); Chris Knipe, long‐time Editor and Author over a 50‐year career, is retiring, and it is appropriate to acknowledge here his outstanding contribution over this period which has firmly established the reputation of Organic Reaction Mechanisms as an authoritative and highly respected series providing an annual mechanistic overview of the organic chemical literature. This success comes in particular from a cohort of meticulous and expert chapter authors, most of whom have also made regular contributions over many years. As incoming Editor, I am mindful of the need to maintain these standards which have been so clearly elaborated, but also to ensure that ORM reflects modern practice and meets modern needs. I am aware that there is much to learn! Appropriate subject coverage is difficult, and especially so at a time when new reactions are being developed and discovered at an unprecedented rate, and new technology is opening new opportunities. Rapid developments in (chiral) catalysis mediated by ligands and metals, and photomediated processes, are examples. Of further interest is the development of what might be called classical mechanisms with a distinctly modern twist – direct SN processes on alcohols, unreactive in a classical context, provide an example. A key question in my mind is becoming: What constitutes a valid mechanism? Computational approaches offer detailed insights undreamt of previously, but should ORM only include experimentally validated mechanistic schemes? Is a plausible but unverified (or even unverifiable) mechanism worthy of inclusion? These questions, coupled with my own learning to grapple with the breadth of subject coverage in a tight page limit, create some interesting challenges, but nonetheless it is my hope and expectation that ORM will continue to meet the needs of readers as a useful resource for teaching, research, and scholarship. If the analysis and insight that ORM provides continues to inform mechanistic considerations in the effective development of organic syntheses, and in the training and education of next‐generation chemists, feeding the upward development of our subject, that would surely be a major success. As for this particular volume, I thank Chris for so generously passing on his experience and wisdom, along with our regular and newer authors, whose work is so critical to the success of the volume as a whole.


Having assumed editorship of ORM in 1977, following experience as an author since 1970, my commitment to the series has been both demanding and fulfilling. Fortunately I was able to recruit expert contributors who, benefitting from the annual allocation of relevant references for their respective chapters, were enabled to apply their reviewing skills to the series for many consecutive years. I am therefore delighted to learn that Mark Moloney, following this year as cog69:60‐editor, is likely to retain such support as he applies his considerable mechanistic experience to gradually adjust coverage in line with developing trends.

I particularly wish to thank the dedicated staff of John Wiley & Sons who throughout my editorship worked cooperatively to ensure that the presentation standards of the series were sustained.