Dual ligand-promoted palladium-catalyzed nondirected C–H alkenylation of aryl ethers†
Direct C–H functionalization of aryl ethers remains challenging owing to their low reactivity and selectivity. Herein, a novel strategy for nondirected C–H alkenylation of aryl ethers promoted by a dual ligand catalyst was demonstrated. This catalytic system readily achieved the highly efficient alkenylation of alkyl aryl ethers (anisole, phenetole, n-propyl phenyl ether, n-butyl phenyl ether and benzyl phenyl ether), cyclic aryl ethers (1,4-benzodioxan, 2,3-dihydrobenzofuran, dibenzofuran), and diphenyl oxides. Moreover, the proposed methodology was successfully employed for the late-stage modification of complex drugs containing the aryl ether motif. Interestingly, the compounds developed herein displayed fluorescent properties, which would facilitate their biological applications.