Aldehyde/ketone-catalyzed highly selective synthesis of 9-monoalkylated fluorenes by dehydrative C-alkylation with primary and secondary alcohols†
By using aldehydes or ketones as the catalyst and screening CsOH out as the more effective base than KOH in many instances, an efficient 9-C-alkylation of fluorenes with alcohols was achieved to provide a green and practical method for general synthesis of the useful 9-monoalkylated fluorenes in high selectivities. This new method tolerates a wide range of substrates including activated and unactivated primary and secondary alcohols, thus solving the issues remaining in the field and largely broadening the diversity of the 9-monoalkylated fluorenes. Consequently, fine-tuning of the alkylated fluorenes was made possible to provide specific fluorene monomers for function-oriented polyfluorenes. Preliminary mechanistic studies revealed that the external carbonyl compounds can be quantitatively regenerated and recovered in the reaction cycle.