From an historical perspective, much of the chemistry associated with the s-block elements has centred on the synthesis and structural characterization of an eclectic selection of compounds, with less effort directed towards developing their chemistry with regards to synthetically useful applications. Whilst obvious exceptions to this general statement exist, and the fundamental academic studies are invaluable in their own right, it is only in recent years that a renewed interest in the application of metal-ligand compounds of these elements has been evident. This short review is focussed on progress made in the molecular1 chemistry of the s-block metals, as presented in the literature in the period 2006-2007. Each section is divided into two parts: (i) advances in the synthesis of new complexes and ligand design, leading to a better understanding of the chemistry of these elements is initially presented; (ii) the latter part of each section concentrates on the application of these compounds in a number of synthetically important areas. Clearly with such a broad topic as this, not all of the literature can be covered, and it is important to state that this review does not include the vast literature concerning the organic transformation chemistry of organolithium and related reagents. Where possible, however, the author has selected examples that he feels will be of interest to the readers of Current Organic Chemistry.
Keywords: Recent Developments, s-Block Metals, metal-ligand compounds, synthesis, organolithium
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