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Copper-Catalyzed Electrochemical C–H Amination of Arenes with Secondary Amines

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posted on 30.08.2018, 21:30 by Qi-Liang Yang, Xiang-Yang Wang, Jia-Yan Lu, Li-Pu Zhang, Ping Fang, Tian-Sheng Mei
Electrochemical oxidation represents an environmentally friendly solution to conventional methods that require caustic stoichiometric chemical oxidants. However, C–H functionalizations merging transition-metal catalysis and electrochemical techniques are, to date, largely confined to the use of precious metals and divided cells. Herein, we report the first examples of copper-catalyzed electrochemical C–H aminations of arenes at room temperature using undivided electrochemical cells, thereby providing a practical solution for the construction of arylamines. The use of n-Bu4NI as a redox mediator is crucial for this transformation. On the basis of mechanistic studies including kinetic profiles, isotope effects, cyclic voltammetric analyses, and radical inhibition experiments, the reaction appears to proceed via a single-electron-transfer (SET) process, and a high valent Cu­(III) species is likely involved. These findings provide a new avenue for transition-metal-catalyzed electrochemical C–H functionalization reactions using redox mediators.

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