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Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 1361–1364. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201610374
Reliable and short synthetic routes to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nanographenes are important in materials science. Herein, we report an efficient one-step annulative π-extension reaction of alkynes that provides access to diarylphenanthrenes and related nanographene precursors. In the presence of a cationic palladium/o-chloranil catalyst system and dibenzosiloles or dibenzogermoles as π-extending agents, a variety of diarylacetylenes are transformed successfully into 9,10-diarylphenanthrenes in a single step with good functional-group tolerance. Furthermore, double π-extension reactions of 1,4-bis(phenylethynyl)benzene and diphenyl-1,3-butadiyne are demonstrated, affording oligoarylene products, which show potential for application in the synthesis of larger polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nanographenes.