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Beyond directing groups: Transition-metal-catalyzed C-H activation of simple arenes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matt HopkinsonORCiD


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The use of coordinating moieties as directing groups for the functionalization of aromatic C-H bonds has become an established tool to enhance reactivity and induce regioselectivity. Nevertheless, with regard to the synthetic applicability of C-H activation, there is a growing interest in transformations in which the directing group can be fully abandoned, thus allowing the direct functionalization of simple benzene derivatives. However, this approach requires the disclosure of new strategies to achieve reactivity and to control selectivity. In this review, recent advances in the emerging field of non-chelate-assisted C-H activation are discussed, highlighting some of the most intriguing and inspiring examples of induction of reactivity and selectivity. Directionless? Obtaining high levels of reactivity and selectivity is crucial for extending the scope of modern C-H activation chemistry. Whereas most of these transformations rely on the help of directing groups (DGs; leading to ortho-functionalized products and a remaining DG), the development of powerful alternative strategies is of utmost importance. Progress and trends of this evolving field are discussed. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kuhl N, Hopkinson MN, Wencel-Delord J, Glorius F

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Angewandte Chemie - International Edition

Year: 2012

Volume: 51

Issue: 41

Pages: 10236-10254

Print publication date: 08/10/2012

Online publication date: 20/09/2012

ISSN (print): 1433-7851

ISSN (electronic): 1521-3773


DOI: 10.1002/anie.201203269