Stereospecific Decarboxylative Benzylation of Enolates: Development and Mechanistic Insight

A palladium-catalyzed decarboxylative coupling of enol carbonates with diarylmethyl electrophiles that are derived from secondary benzylic alcohols has been developed. This method allows the generation of a variety of β-diaryl ketones through an efficient and highly stereospecific coupling. In addition, detailed mechanistic insight into the coupling suggests that the reaction is a rare example of an intramolecular decarboxylative coupling that proceeds without crossover between reactants.