Phenols and anilines are two of the most important building blocks in industrial chemical manufacturing. Any process capable of converting one into the other is going to generate a lot of interest, and a paper by Shi and co-workers does just that.1 Direct conversion of an aniline to a phenol is a relatively straightforward transformation
Syntactic fantastic: A practical, ortho- selective mono-halogenation and phenylselenation of phenols by direct C-H halogenation.
The direct halogenation of phenols using electrophilic halogenating reagents such as NBS are frequently used to prepare halogenated phenols. The problem with this method is that selectivity can often be low- the ortho– isomer is usually the minor component in a statistical mixture due to steric and electronic effects, and over reaction to give polyhalogenated