An effective and practical synthetic scheme for making functionalized phenanthrenes in a semi-one-pot reaction has been developed by chemists in China. The team used a sequence of Heck-type coupling and photocyclization reactions and demonstrated that fifty different functionalities could be incorporated into the final products. The team is now working to extend their simple transformation to the synthesis of graphene frameworks, which one might view as being extended frameworks of phenanthrene units (pictured). They are also surveying the detailed mechanism of the reactions involved with a view to improving the scheme still further.
- Straightforward Synthesis of Phenanthrenes from Styrenes and Arenes,
Zhang-Jie Shi , Hu Li , Jia Liu , Ke-Han He , Ke-Qing Zhao , Ping Hu, Bi-Qin Wang,
Chem. Commun. 2012.