A general method for the synthesis of alpha-aryl malonates is described. The coupling of an aryl iodide and diethyl malonate in the presence of Cs2CO3 and catalytic amounts of copper(I) iodide and 2-phenylphenol affords the alpha-aryl malonate in good to excellent yields. The mild reaction conditions and high levels of functional group compatibility make this an attractive synthetic alternative to previous methods.
“A General and Mild Copper-Catalyzed Arylation of Diethyl Malonate”, Org. Lett., 2002, 4(2), 269-272.