Pd-Catalyzed C–S Activation/Isocyanide Insertion/Hydrogenation Enables a Selective Aerobic Oxidation/Cyclization

Unique imidoylation of thioorganics with isocyanides endows an unprecedented aerobic oxidation process. Catalyzed by Pd­(Ph3P)2Cl2 in the presence of Ph3SiH under N2 then upon exposure to air, a wide range of α-acyl ketene dithioacetals react with isocyanides to afford 5-hydroxy-α,β-unsaturated γ-lactams via a C–S bond activation, isocyanide migratory insertion, hydrogenation, selective aerobic oxidation, and intramolecular nucleophilic addition sequence.