Branching out: A simple and inexpensive cobalt/triarylphosphine catalyst promotes aldimine-directed hydroarylation of styrene with high branched regioselectivity to afford 1,1-diarylethane derivatives in good yields under mild reaction conditions. The ortho-formyl group in the hydroarylation products is amenable to dehydrative cyclization, to give fused polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, as well as decarbonylative removal.
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