• cross-coupling;
  • dendrimers;
  • NHC ligands;
  • nickel catalysts;
  • oligothiophenes


The synthesis of linear and branched oligothiophenes of well-defined structures is performed with regioselective deprotonation of 3-substituted thiophenes and nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling of the thus formed metalated species with a bromothiophene. The reaction of 3-hexylthiophene with EtMgCl and 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine (TMP-H, 10 mol %) induces the metalation selectively at the 5-position by use of the catalytically generated hindered magnesium amide (TMPMgCl) and the subsequent reaction of a 2-halo-3-hexylthiophene (bromide or chloride) in the presence of a nickel catalyst affords a head-to-tail (HT)-type dimer. By repeating the same sequence, the linear oligothiophene up to a 4-mer is synthesized in good yield. The reaction of 3-hexylthiophene with 2,3-dibromothiophene also takes place to afford a branched oligothiophene 3-mer in quantitative yield. The obtained 3-mer is also metalated at the sterically less-hindered position in a regioselective manner furnishing a 7-mer in >99 % yield after a further coupling reaction with 2,3-dibromothiophene. These dendrimers react with several multifunctionalized organic electrophiles, leading to a variety of branched oligothiophenes.