Bulk gold metal powder, consisting of particles (5−50 μm) much larger than nanoparticles, catalyzes the coupling of carbenes generated from diazoalkanes (R2C═N2) and 3,3-diphenylcyclopropene (DPCP) to form olefins. It also catalyzes cyclopropanation reactions of these carbene precursors with styrenes. The catalytic activity of the gold powder depends on the nature of the gold particles, as determined by TEM and SEM studies. The reactions can be understood in terms of mechanisms that involve the generation of carbene R2C: intermediates adsorbed on the gold surface.
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