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Gold-catalysed dehydrogenative cross-coupling of arenes

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The gold standard in cross-coupling

Catalytic carbon-hydrogen (C-H) activation is a simple and economical way to cross-couple organic compounds. Researchers discovered a greener, more efficient catalytic methodology that activates C-H bonding using gold atoms.


The usually inert C-H bond is present in nearly all synthetic and naturally occurring organic molecules. Modifying organic compounds is challenging because it is hard to discriminate between the many C-H bonds present in most molecules. Funded by the EU, the AU-DOUBLEC-H (Gold-catalysed dehydrogenative cross-coupling of arenes) initiative aimed to develop catalysts to promote cross-coupling of organic compounds via double C-H activation. The researchers planned to use the unique ability of gold complexes to discriminate between C-H bonds to achieve this. The AU-DOUBLEC-H team worked to develop catalytic processes starting with gold(I)-mediated C-H activation of arenes (common organic precursor molecules). The researchers also used the oxidated catalyst (gold(III)) to create biaryl compounds. Project researchers discovered an improved method for efficiently cross-coupling polyfluoroarenes with hetero- and carbocyclic arenes. These new methods will encourage further exploration of gold as a catalyst in cross-coupling reactions. The methodology will also help with future green methodologies to prepare biaryl scaffolds.


Cross-coupling, C-H activation, organic compounds, gold, AU-DOUBLEC-H, arenes, biaryl

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