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Hydrodecarboxylation of Carboxylic and Malonic Acid Derivatives via Organic Photoredox Catalysis: Substrate Scope and Mechanistic Insight

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journal contribution
posted on 09.09.2015, 00:00 by Jeremy D. Griffin, Mary A. Zeller, David A. Nicewicz
A direct, catalytic hydrodecarboxylation of primary, secondary, and tertiary carboxylic acids is reported. The catalytic system consists of a Fukuzumi acridinium photooxidant with phenyldisulfide acting as a redox-active cocatalyst. Substoichiometric quantities of Hünig’s base are used to reveal the carboxylate. Use of trifluoroethanol as a solvent allowed for significant improvements in substrate compatibilities, as the method reported is not limited to carboxylic acids bearing α heteroatoms or phenyl substitution. This method has been applied to the direct double decarboxylation of malonic acid derivatives, which allows for the convenient use of dimethyl malonate as a methylene synthon. Kinetic analysis of the reaction is presented showing a lack of a kinetic isotope effect when generating deuterothiophenol in situ as a hydrogen atom donor. Further kinetic analysis demonstrated first-order kinetics with respect to the carboxylate, while the reaction is zero-order in acridinium catalyst, consistent with another finding suggesting the reaction is light limiting and carboxylate oxidation is likely turnover limiting. Stern–Volmer analysis was carried out in order to determine the efficiency for the carboxylates to quench the acridinium excited state.