Diarylmethane Synthesis through Re2O7-Catalyzed Bimolecular Dehydrative Friedel–Crafts Reactions

Paul Floreancig reports on the diarylmethane synthesis through bimolecular dehydrative Friedel–Crafts reactions.

First-year chemistry students learn that the OH group is a very poor leaving group and nucleophilic substitution reactions involving alcohols as electrophiles require suitable activation of the hydroxy function. In this context, transient OH group activation with an electrophilic catalyst is particularly attractive for a number of reasons, including environmental and economic ones. Dehydrative coupling reactions able to produce complex organic structures from benzylic alcohols are among the most interesting emerging options in the toolbox of modern organic synthesis. The roots of this project lie in the work that Professor Floreancig’s group at the University of Pittsburgh (USA), in conjunction with Dr. Youwei Xie of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (P. R. of China) has done on Re2O7-mediated allylic alcohol transposition reactions.

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