The direct and selective synthesis of phenols from aryl/heteroaryl halides and KOH has been achieved through the use of highly active monophosphine-based catalysts derived from Pd2dba3 and ligands L1 or L2 and the biphasic solvent system 1,4-dioxane/H2O. We have also demonstrated a one-pot method of phenol formation/alkylation for the preparation of alkyl aryl ethers from aryl halides. In many instances, this protocol overcomes limitations in existing Pd-catalyzed coupling reactions of aliphatic alcohols with aryl halides. Finally, we demonstrate that substituted benzofurans can be prepared efficiently via a Pd-catalyzed phenol formation/cyclization protocol starting from 2-chloroaryl alkynes.
“The Selective Reaction of Aryl Halides with KOH: Synthesis of Phenols, Aromatic Ethers, and Benzofurans”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128(33), 10694-10695.