Decarbonylative organoboron cross-coupling of esters by nickel catalysis

Kei Muto, Junichiro Yamaguchi, Djamaladdin G. Musaev, Kenichiro Itami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Citations (Scopus)


The Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling is a metal-catalysed reaction in which boron-based nucleophiles and halide-based electrophiles are reacted to form a single molecule. This is one of the most reliable tools in synthetic chemistry, and is extensively used in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and organic materials. Herein, we report a significant advance in the choice of electrophilic coupling partner in this reaction. With a user-friendly and inexpensive nickel catalyst, a range of phenyl esters of aromatic, heteroaromatic and aliphatic carboxylic acids react with boronic acids in a decarbonylative manner. Overall, phenyl ester moieties function as leaving groups. Theoretical calculations uncovered key mechanistic features of this unusual decarbonylative coupling. Since extraordinary numbers of ester-containing molecules are available both commercially and synthetically, this new a € estera € cross-coupling should find significant use in synthetic chemistry as an alternative to the standard halide-based Suzuki-Miyaura coupling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7508
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 29
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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