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This perspective article takes an alternative look at alkali-metal-mediated chemistry (exchange of a relatively inert C–H bond for a more reactive C–metal bond by a multicomponent reagent usually containing an alkali metal and a less electropositive metal such as magnesium or zinc). It pictures that the cleavage of selected C–H bonds can be accompanied by the capturing of the generated anion by the multi (Lewis acid)–(Lewis base) character of the residue of the bimetallic base. In this way small atoms or molecules (hydrides, oxygen-based anions) as well as sensitive organic anions (of substituted aromatic compounds, ethers or alkenes) can be captured. Cleave and capture reactions which occur in special positions on the organic substrate are also included.
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