Background: The 4-benzyl biphenyl scaffold represents an important structural element
widely used in optoelectronic materials and bioactive compounds, including a variety of antihypertensive
drugs and prostate cancer agents. Therefore, the construction of 4-benzyl groups incorporating this
structural feature with cheap and readily available starting materials is of great scientific interest.
Methods: In this paper, the reductive coupling of biphenyl-4-carbonyl compounds derived from tosylhydrazones
with phenols or benzyl alcohols under metal-free reaction conditions is described.
Results: Various 4-benzyl biphenyl ether compounds, representing an important structural element in
organic synthesis, could be obtained in moderate to good yields.
Conclusion: The catalytic system presented here enables the use of easily accessible starting materials
and may be employed on a wide variety of substrates with good functional group tolerance.