A Ni-catalyzed decarbonylative methylation of aromatic esters was achieved using methylaluminums as methylating agents. Dimethylaluminum chlorides uniquely worked as the methyl source. Because of the Lewis acidity of aluminum reagents, less reactive alkyl esters could also undergo the present methylation. By controlling the Lewis acidity of aluminum reagents, a chemoselective decarbonylative cross-coupling between alkyl esters and phenyl esters was successful.
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