Bismuth triflate (5 mol%) smoothly catalyzes the condensation of aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes with resorcinol to give tetrameric cyclic products, resorcinarenes. With benzaldehyde, the product is obtained as a mixture of two diastereomers and the ratio of the diastereomers depends on reaction time. On the other hand, a single diastereomer is obtained with aliphatic aldehydes. The low toxicity and ease of handling of bismuth compounds coupled with fast reaction times make this method an attractive alternative to the existing methods for resorcinarene formation


Organic Chemistry