We describe a novel, short, and flexible approach to diverse N-doped polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through gold-catalyzed π-extension of anthranils with o-ethynylbiaryls as reagents. This strategy uses easily accessible starting materials, is simple due to high step and atom economy, and shows good functional-group compatibility as well as scale-up potential. Mechanistically, the tandem reaction is proposed to involve a nucleophilic addition/ring opening/regiospecific C−H annulation/protodeauration sequence terminated by a Friedel–Crafts-type cyclization. Photophysical studies of the products indicated violet-blue fluorescence emission with quantum yields up to 0.45.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes