• arylation;
  • copper;
  • halides;
  • nucleophilic substitution;
  • nitrogen heterocycles;
  • P ligands


A molecularly defined new phosphine–diolefin cubane copper pre-catalyst used at 1.25 mol % under mild conditions promotes the coupling of pyrazoles to functionalised aryl and heteroaryl bromides, which hold a variety of functional groups. This versatile phosphorus-based system was thus successfully used, under identical conditions, for the coupling of a large scope of heteroaromatics to selectively produce pyridinyl- and pyrimidinyl-pyrazoles, as well as several novel furyl-, thienyl- and thiazolyl-substituted pyrazoles. The careful investigation of coupling with the analogous aryl and heteroaryl chlorides clearly indicated that for specifically activated chloroarenes a direct nucleophilic aromatic substitution (SNAr) is easily achieved in the absence of any copper and ligand. These results are pertinent with regards to the reported protocols in which copper–ligand systems have been claimed as useful for coupling activated chloroarenes.