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Exploiting Boron–Zinc Transmetallation for the Arylation of Benzyl Halides: What are the Reactive Species?


  • We thank the EPSRC and Syngenta for funding.


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One step Beyond: The transmetallation reactions of ArB(OH)2 and Ar3B3O3 with Et2Zn are far more complicated than previously supposed, with solvent-dependent equilibria between ArB(OY)2 at one side and [RZn(solv)3][BR4] at the other (see picture). While the role of the highly reactive organozinc cation has not been implicated before, its importance for the activation of an otherwise sluggish class of electrophiles is shown.