The FeCl3-promoted annulation reaction of aryl acetaldehydes with alkynes has been established, which provides a new and versatile straightforward procedure for the regioselective synthesis of mono-, di-, and polysubstituted naphthalenes under mild conditions. Interestingly, the present catalytic system not only differentiates between internal and terminal alkynes but also shows unprecedented complete Me3SiOH elimination selectivity for silyl alkyne substrates. Furthermore, the synthesis of a series of substituted phenanthrenes via reactions of nathphyl acetaldehydes with internal alkynes is also achieved for the first time in good yields with excellent regioselectivity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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