Background: α-Aryl substituted nitroalkanes are important synthetic intermediates
for the preparation of pharmaceutical molecules, natural products, and functional
materials. Due to their scare existence in Nature, synthesis of these compounds has attracted
the attention of synthetic and medicinal chemists, rendering α-arylation of nitroalkanes
of an important research topic. This article summarizes the important advances of α-
arylation of nitroalkanes since 1963.
Results: After a brief introduction of the synthetic application and the reactions of nitroalkanes,
this article reviewed the synthetic methods for the α-arylated aliphatic nitro compound.
The amount of research on α-arylation of nitroalkanes using various arylation reagents
and the discovery of elegant synthetic approaches towards such skeleton have been
discussed. This review described these advances in two sections. One is the arylation of non-activated nitroalkanes,
with an emphasis on the application of diverse arylation reagents; the other focuses on the arylation of
activated nitroalkanes, including dinitroalkanes, trinitroalkanes, α-nitrosulfones, α-nitroesters, α-nitrotoluenes,
and α-nitroketones. The synthetic application of these methods has also been presented in some cases.
Conclusion: In this review, we described the progress of α-arylation of nitroalkanes. Although the immense
amount of research on α-arylation of aliphatic nitro compounds has been achieved, many potential issues still
need to be addressed, especially the asymmetric transformation and its wide application in organic synthesis.