Improved processes for the preparation of biphenyl-based phosphine ligands t-BuBrettPhos, RockPhos, and BrettPhos are presented. The new methods, featuring the use of Grignard reagents and catalytic amounts of copper, are superior to the previous methods, which require the use of tert-butyllithium and stoichiometric amounts of copper. Specifically, the use of less dangerous reagents provides a safer process, while the use of catalytic amounts of copper allows for the isolation of pure products in high yield. These improvements are particularly significant for the large-scale preparation of these ligands.
“An Improved Synthesis of BrettPhos- and RockPhos-Type Biarylphosphine Ligands”, Adv. Synth. Catal., 2012, 354, 2031-2037.