Diaryl ethers synthesis: nano-catalysts in carbon-oxygen cross-coupling reactions
The diaryl ether moiety is not only prevalent in a significant number of natural products and synthetic pharmaceuticals but also widely found in many pesticides, polymers, and ligands. Ullmann-type cross-coupling reactions between phenols and aryl halides are regarded as one of the most important methods for the synthesis of this important and versatile structural motif. In recent years, the use of nano-sized metal catalysts in this coupling reaction has attracted a lot of attention because of these catalysts with their high surface-to-volume ratio, high surface energy, and reactive morphology allows for rapid C–O bond formation under mild and ligand-free conditions. In this review we will highlight the power of these catalysts in Ullmann-type C–O cross-coupling reactions.