Iron-catalyzed, highly regioselective synthesis of α-aryl carboxylic acids from styrene derivatives and CO2.J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jul 25; 134(29):11900-3.JA
The iron-catalyzed hydrocarboxylation of aryl alkenes has been developed using a highly active bench-stable iron(II) precatalyst to give α-aryl carboxylic acids in excellent yields and with near-perfect regioselectivity. Using just 1 mol % FeCl(2), bis(imino)pyridine 6 (1 mol %), CO(2) (atmospheric pressure), and a hydride source (EtMgBr, 1.2 equiv), a range of sterically and electronically differentiated aryl alkenes were transformed to the corresponding α-aryl carboxylic acids (up to 96% isolated yield). The catalyst was found to be equally active with a loading of 0.1 mol %. Preliminary mechanistic investigations show that an iron-catalyzed hydrometalation is followed by transmetalation and reaction with the electrophile (CO(2)).