Synthesis of sulfur-containing heterocycles via ring enlargement

Mol Divers. 2018 May;22(2):517-542. doi: 10.1007/s11030-017-9810-3. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


The current review deals with the use of ring expansion reactions for the synthesis of sulfur-containing heterocycles. Ring enlargement offers by far a convenient method for the synthesis of 'medium-sized ring systems', which are usually difficult to obtain or even produced in low yields. These reactions are often catalytically processed starting from a single cyclic precursor and, therefore, are superior to alternative classical iterative synthetic approaches in terms of atomic and conversion efficiency. The current review aims to shed light on the synthetic approaches that exist to afford medium-sized sulfur heterocycles from preexisting smaller rings (e.g., three-, four-, five-, six- and seven-membered rings).

Keywords: Cycloaddition; Ring enlargement; Sulfur-containing heterocycles; Synthesis; Vinylthiiranes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic / methods*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / chemical synthesis*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / chemistry*
  • Sulfur / chemistry*


  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Sulfur