TEMPO-Catalyzed Aerobic Oxidative Selenium Insertion Reaction: Synthesis of 3‑Selenylindole Derivatives by Multicomponent Reaction of Isocyanides, Selenium Powder, Amines, and Indoles under Transition-Metal-Free Conditions

A novel and efficient approach for the selenium functionalization of indoles was developed with selenium powder as the selenium source, catalyzed by 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl­piperidinooxy (TEMPO) and employing O2 as the green oxidant. This protocol provides a practical route for the synthesis of 3-selenylindole derivatives and has the advantages of readily available starting materials, mild reaction conditions, and a wide scope of substrates. Electron spin-resonance (ESR) studies reveal that the approach involves the formation of nitrogen-centered radicals and selenium radicals via oxidation of in situ generated selenoates.