Ester dance reaction on the aromatic ring

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Science Advances  08 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 28, eaba7614
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba7614


Aromatic rearrangement reactions are useful tools in the organic chemist’s toolbox when generating uncommon substitution patterns. However, it is difficult to precisely translocate a functional group in (hetero) arene systems, with the exception of halogen atoms in a halogen dance reaction. Here, we describe an unprecedented “ester dance” reaction: a predictable translocation of an ester group from one carbon atom to another on an aromatic ring. Specifically, a phenyl carboxylate substituent can be shifted from one carbon to an adjacent carbon on a (hetero) aromatic ring under palladium catalysis to often give a thermodynamically favored, regioisomeric product with modest to good conversions. The obtained ester moiety can be further converted to various aromatic derivatives through the use of classic and state-of-the-art transformations including amidation, acylations, and decarbonylative couplings.

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