A simple and selective electrochemical synthesis by dehydrogenative coupling of unprotected 2,6- or 2,5-substituted phenols to the desired 4,4'-biphenols is reported. Using electricity as the oxidizing reagent avoids pre-functionalization of the starting materials, since a selective activation of the substrates takes place. Without the necessity for metal-catalysts or the use of stoichiometric reagents it is an economic and environmentally friendly transformation. The elaborated electrochemical protocol leads to a broad variety of the desired 4,4'-biphenols in a very simplified manner compared to classical approaches. This is particular the case for the cross-coupled products.
Keywords: C−H activation; anode; cross-coupling; dehydrogenation; electrochemistry.
© 2019 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.