This tutorial review deals with recent developments in the activation of C-C bonds in organic molecules that have been catalyzed by transition metal complexes. Many chemists have devised a variety of strategies for C-C bond activation and significant progress has been made in this field over the past few decades. However, there remain only a few examples of the catalytic activation of C-C bonds, in spite of the potential use in organic synthesis, and most of the previously published reviews have dwelt mainly on the stoichiometric reactions. Consequently, this review will focus mainly on the catalytic reaction of C-C bond cleavage by homogeneous transition metal catalysts. The contents include cleavage of C-C bonds in strained and unstrained molecules, and cleavage of multiple C-C bonds such as C≡C triple bonds in alkynes. Multiple bond metathesis and heterogeneous systems are beyond the scope of this review, though they are also fascinating areas of C-C bond activation. In this review, the strategies and tactics for C-C bond activation will be explained.
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