The metal-free thermal organocatalytic pinacol coupling of arylaldehydes has been developed. The intermolecular coupling of arylaldehydes catalyzed byt-butyl isonicotinate with bis(pinacolato)diboron as the co-reducing agent afforded 1,2-diphenylethane-1,2-diols. This reaction was also applicable to the intramolecular coupling of 1,1′-biphenyl-2,2′-dicarbaldehydes to afford 9,10-dihydrophenanthrene-9,10-diols. Various functional groups were tolerated under this coupling condition.
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