Brønsted acid-catalysed hydroarylation of unactivated alkynes in a fluoroalcohol–hydrocarbon biphasic system: construction of phenanthrene frameworks†
Transition metal-free hydroarylation of unactivated alkynes was achieved by combining a Brønsted acid catalyst and a two-phase solvent system consisting of 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoropropan-2-ol (HFIP) and cyclohexane. This protocol is applicable to a wide variety of 2-alkynylbiaryls which leads to the synthesis of substituted phenanthrenes via 6-endo-selective ring closure. The biphasic system achieves highly efficient ring closure by appropriate separation of cationic intermediates from neutral compounds. The vinyl carbocation intermediates are stabilised in the HFIP phase, while the substrates and products are distributed in the cyclohexane phase to suppress intermolecular side reactions.