Since the first reports some three decades ago, the chemistry of pincer metal complexes has seen a tremendous development with impact on materials chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, bioorganometallics, and, presumably most significantly, on (catalytic) bond making and breaking processes. The remarkable progress is due to a large extent to the well-defined nature and tunability of the pincer ligand which allows the reactivity of the metal center to be modified and eventually tailored to specific needs. This Perspective summarizes the achievements in employing pincer complexes for mediating and catalyzing the cleavage of typically unreactive bonds such as C–H, C–C, C–E, and E–H bonds, arguably one of the most spectacular applications of pincer chemistry.
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