Gold-Catalyzed Direct Arylation

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Science  28 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6102, pp. 1644-1648
DOI: 10.1126/science.1225709

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Biaryls (two directly connected aromatic rings, Ar1-Ar2) are common motifs in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and organic materials. Current methods for establishing the Ar1-Ar2 bond are dominated by the cross-coupling of aryl halides (Ar1-X) with aryl metallics (Ar2-M). We report that, in the presence of 1 to 2 mole percent of a gold catalyst and a mild oxidant, a wide range of arenes (Ar1-H) undergo site-selective arylation by arylsilanes (Ar2-SiMe3) to generate biaryls (Ar1-Ar2), with little or no homocoupling (Ar1-Ar1/Ar2-Ar2). Catalysis proceeds at room temperature and tolerates a broad range of functional groups, including those incompatible with cross-coupling. These features expedite biaryl preparation, as demonstrated by synthesis of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory diflunisal.

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