Access to the meta position of arenes through transition metal catalysed C–H bond functionalisation: a focus on metals other than palladium
The elaboration of simple arenes in order to access more complex substitution patterns is a crucial endeavor for synthetic chemists, given the central role that aromatic rings play in all manner of important molecules. Classical methods are now routinely used alongside stoichiometric organometallic approaches and, most recently, transition metal catalysis in the range of methodologies that are available to elaborate arene C–H bonds. Regioselectivity is an important consideration when selecting a method and, of all those available, it is arguably those that target the meta position that are fewest in number. The rapid development of transition metal-catalysed C–H bond functionalisation over the last few decades has opened new possibilities for meta-selective C–H functionalisation through the diverse reactivity of transition metals and their compatibility with a wide range of directing groups. The pace of discovery of such processes has grown rapidly in the last five years in particular and it is the purpose of this review to examine these but in doing so to place the focus on metals other than palladium, the specific contributions of which have been very recently reviewed elsewhere. It is hoped this will serve to highlight to the reader the breadth of current strategies and mechanisms that have been used to tackle this challenge, which may inspire further progress in the field.