The Nazarov Cyclization
This Name Reaction Biography presents Ivan Nikolaevich Nazarov and the cyclization reaction named after him.
The Imperial era was a time of prolific discovery and development of new reactions and rules by Russian chemists, for example Markovnikov’s Rule, the permanganate hydroxylation of alkenes (the Wagner oxidation), the Reformatskii reaction, the Wagner–Meerwein rearrangement, or the Wolff–Kishner reduction, to name only a few. The impact of these imperialera Russian organic chemists on the content of modern introductory organic chemistry courses can hardly be overstated. In contrast to this, the discovery and development of new organic reactions in Soviet Russia was almost nonexistent. This dearth of creativity is what makes the subject of this Name Reaction Biography so remarkable. It deals with Ivan Nikolaevich Nazarov who investigated the acidcatalyzed cyclization of divinyl ketones and divinylacetylenes. In 1941, Nazarov and one of his students reported the synthesis of divinyl ketones from divinylacetylenes by mercurycatalyzed hydration and isomerization of the allyl vinyl ketone initially formed. This paper is often quoted – incorrectly – as the first report of the Nazarov cyclization.
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