Eight new N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) featuring substituted naphthyl side chains were
synthesized. These molecules are present in solution as a stable mixture of anti and syn
conformers. Through careful tuning of the substituents on position 2 and 2,7 of the naphthyl
moieties, it was possible to synthesize molecules that display a strong preference for the anti
conformation (up to 95:5). This will greatly facilitate their optimized use as single isomeric
ligands in metal-catalysis and as organocatalysts.