Phenylphosphonates with mixed alkyl groups were synthesized from ethyl phenyl-H-phosphinate by twomodified Atherton-Todd methods. Using aqueous sodium hydroxide under phase transfer catalytic conditions, the alkyl ethyl phosphonates were obtained in onlymoderate yields. However, applying 1-methylimidazole as the base, the diesters could be prepared in yields of 76-85%. The imidazole hydrochloride formed as a by-product acts as an ionic liquid phase in the reaction, from which the base can be regenerated.
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