Unusual and unexpected chemical transformations often provide access to completely new types of functional molecules. We report here the synthesis of a methylene-bridged bis-triazolium salt designed as a precursor for a new bis-mesoionic carbene (MIC) ligand. The direct metalation with silver oxide led to the isolation and crystallographic characterization of a cationic tetranuclear octacarbene–silver(I) complex. During metalation the formal bis-MIC precursor undergoes significant structural changes and chemical transformations. A combined synthetic, crystallographic and (spectro-)electrochemical approach is used to elucidate the mechanistic pathway: starting from the methylene-bridged bis-triazolium salt a single deprotonation leads to a NacNac analogue, which is followed by a redox-induced radical dimerization reaction, generating a new tetra-MIC ligand coordinated to silver(I) central atoms. Decomplexation led to the isolation of the corresponding tetratriazoliumethylene, a profoundly electron-poor alkene, which is an analogue of TCNE.
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