O- or N-arylated aminophenol products constitute a common structural motif in various potentially useful therapeutic agents and/or drug candidates. We have developed a complementary set of Cu- and Pd-based catalyst systems for the selective O- and N-arylation of unprotected aminophenols using aryl halides. Selective O-arylation of 3- and 4-aminophenols is achieved with copper-catalyzed methods employing picolinic acid or CyDMEDA, trans-N,N'-dimethyl-1,2-cyclohexanediamine, respectively, as the ligand. The selective formation of N-arylated products of 3- and 4-aminophenols can be obtained with BrettPhos precatalyst, a biarylmonophosphine-based palladium catalyst. 2-Aminophenol can be selectively N-arylated with CuI, although no system for the selective O-arylation could be found. Coupling partners with diverse electronic properties and a variety of functional groups can be selectively transformed under these conditions.
“Orthogonal Cu- and Pd-Based Catalyst Systems for the O- and N-Arylation of Aminophenols”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131(47), 17423-17429.