Metal-Catalyzed α-Arylation of Carbonyl and Related Molecules: Novel Trends in C[BOND]C Bond Formation by C[BOND]H Bond Functionalization



α-Arylated carbonyl compounds are commonly occurring motifs in biologically interesting molecules and are therefore of high interest to the pharmaceutical industry. Conventional procedures for their synthesis often result in complications in scale-up, such as the use of stoichiometric amounts of toxic reagents and harsh reaction conditions. Over the last decade, significant efforts have been directed towards the development of metal-catalyzed α-arylations of carbonyl compounds as an alternative synthetic approach that operates under milder conditions. This Review summarizes the developments in this area to date, with a focus on how the substrate scope has been expanded through selection of the most appropriate synthetic method, such as the careful choice of ligands, precatalysts, bases, and reaction conditions.