A copper-catalyzed electrophilic etherification of arylboronic esters is reported. Isoxazolidines are utilized as easily available and stable [RO]+ surrogates to give 1,3-amino aryl ethers. The O-selective arylation of isoxazolidines takes place without causing competitive N-arylation. In contrast to previously reported anionic conditions, our copper-catalyzed conditions are mild enough to achieve high functional group tolerance. Preliminary mechanistic studies and DFT calculations support that the reaction proceeds via a transmetalation/oxidative addition pathway, followed by a Lewis acid-promoted reductive elimination to induce the crucial O-selectivity.
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