Molecule of the Month
December 2019
s-Block Cooperative Catalysis: Two Metals are Better than One!

By pairing s-block earth-abundant metals potassium and magnesium within the same molecule, a powerful bimetallic catalyst has been developed. Through mixed-metal cooperativity, this system efficiently catalyzes intramolecular hydroalkoxylation of alkynols to access a wide range of functionalized O-heterocyclic molecules.
The roles of both magnesium and potassium components are crucial for the success of the process, affording a unique type of substrate activation that is not possible in conventional single-metal systems.

This work was carried out in the group of Prof. Eva Hevia.


  • M. Fairley, L. Davin, A. Hernán-Gómez, J. García-Álvarez, C. T. O'Hara, E. Hevia;
    "s-Block cooperative catalysis: alkali metal magnesiate-catalysed cyclisation of alkynols"
    Chem. Sci., 2019, 10(22), 5821-5831; doi:10.1039/C9SC01598A.