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Catalytic Alkene Carboaminations Enabled by Oxidative Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer

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journal contribution
posted on 29.07.2015, 00:00 by Gilbert J. Choi, Robert R. Knowles
Here we describe a dual catalyst system comprised of an iridium photocatalyst and weak phosphate base that is capable of both selectively homolyzing the N–H bonds of N-arylamides (bond dissociation free energies ∼ 100 kcal/mol) via concerted proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) and mediating efficient carboamination reactions of the resulting amidyl radicals. This manner of PCET activation, which finds its basis in numerous biological redox processes, enables the formal homolysis of a stronger amide N–H bond in the presence of weaker allylic C–H bonds, a selectivity that is uncommon in conventional molecular H atom acceptors. Moreover, this transformation affords access to a broad range of structurally complex heterocycles from simple amide starting materials. The design, synthetic scope, and mechanistic evaluation of the PCET process are described.

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