DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1589113
short review
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Turning the Light On: Recent Developments in Photoinduced Olefin Metathesis

Or Eivgia, N. Gabriel Lemcoff*a, b
  • aDepartment of Chemistry, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er-Sheva, 84105, Israel   Email:
  • bIlse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er-Sheva, 84105, Israel
The Israel Science Foundation is gratefully acknowledged for funding (Grant No. 537/14).
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 21 July 2017

Accepted after revision: 31 August 2017

Publication Date:
21 September 2017 (eFirst)


Olefin metathesis is one of the most important methods to form carbon–carbon double bonds and has found many applications in industry and academia. The ability to initiate the reaction using external stimulus such as light, with high spatial and temporal resolution is highly advantageous and provides creative novel opportunities in organic syntheses and material sciences. This review article covers recent advances in light-activated olefin metathesis reactions from the development of novel complexes that can be initiated photochemically to recently reported applications of photoinduced olefin metathesis, as well as the bright newly emerging field of photoredox-mediated metal-free ROMP.

1 Introduction

2 Light-Activated Olefin Metathesis Complexes

2.1 Sulfur-Chelated Hoveyda–Grubbs-Type Complexes

2.2 Nitrogen-Chelated Hoveyda–Grubbs-Type Complexes

2.3 Catalyst Activation with Photoacid Generators

2.4 Phototuning of Active Complexes

2.5 Photoactivation of Non-Grubbs-Type Olefin Metathesis Complexes

3 Photoredox-Mediated Metal-Free ROMP

4 Applications of Photoinduced Olefin Metathesis

4.1 Chromatic Orthogonal Olefin Metathesis

4.2 UV-Filter-Assisted Olefin Metathesis

4.3 Photolithographic Olefin Metathesis Polymerization

5 Conclusions