Due to the linear property around an acetylenic carbon, the introduction of such an atom to a small cycle would result in high ring strain. Currently, the smallest isolated rings are five-membered, including metallacycloalkynes and metallapentalynes. Both types contain at least one unusual small bond angle around the acetylenic carbon, thus exhibiting abnormal reactivities. This feature article gives a comprehensive overview on these two kind complexes. The synthesis and reactivities are extensively described, the source of stability is presented, and the future prospect is discussed. The article aims to provide a better development for the chemical diversity of five-membered metallacycloalkynes and metallapentalynes.
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