Synthesis of tetra- and octa-aurated heteroaryl complexes towards probing aromatic indoliums

Polymetalated aromatic compounds are particularly challenging synthetic goals because of the limited thermodynamic stability of polyanionic species arising from strong electrostatic repulsion between adjacent carbanionic sites. Here we describe a facile synthesis of two polyaurated complexes including a tetra-aurated indole and an octa-aurated benzodipyrrole. The imido trinuclear gold(I) moiety exhibits nucleophilicity and undergoes an intramolecular attack on a gold(I)-activated ethynyl to generate polyanionic heteroaryl species.