Ethyl 4-methoxycinnamate synthesis: 4-Methoxycinnamic Acid (0.60 g, 3.36 mmol) was dissolved in 10 mL of dry N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) in a 25-mL, roundbottomed flask. Cesium carbonate (1.65 g, 5.06 mmol) was added followed by iodoethane (1.0 mL, 12.5 mmol). The flask was capped (rubber septum) and the heterogeneous mixture stirred vigorously at 50 °C for one hour. After this time, HCl (1.0 M, 4.0 mL) was added to quench the reaction. The liquid was decanted from any remaining solid and extracted with 3 : 1 hexanes/ethyl acetate (2 x 10 mL). The organic layer was washed with brine (20 mL), dried with MgSO4, filtered, and solvent removed. The remaining oil solidified on standing to form colorless prisms.
Synthesis of ethyl 4-methoxycinnamate