Since its discovery in 1825, benzene has served as one of the most used and indispensable building blocks of chemical compounds, ranging from pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals to plastics and those used in organic electronic devices. Benzene has six hydrogen atoms that can each be replaced by different substituents, which means that the structural diversity of benzene derivatives is intrinsically extraordinary. The number of possible substituted benzenes from n different substituents is (2n + 2n2 + 4n3 + 3n4 + n6)/12. However, owing to a lack of general synthetic methods for making multisubstituted benzenes, this potentially huge structural diversity has not been fully exploited. Here, we describe a programmed synthesis of hexaarylbenzenes using C-H activation, cross-coupling and [4+2] cycloaddition reactions. The present method allows for the isolation and structure-property characterization of hexaarylbenzenes with distinctive aryl substituents at all positions for the first time. Moreover, the established protocol can be applied to the synthesis of tetraarylnaphthalenes and pentaarylpyridines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)