Over the past several decades, organometallic cross-coupling chemistry has developed into one of the most reliable approaches to assemble complex aromatic compounds from preoxidized starting materials. More recently, transition metal–catalyzed carbon-hydrogen activation has circumvented the need for preoxidized starting materials, but this approach is limited by a lack of practical amination protocols. Here, we present a blueprint for aromatic carbon-hydrogen functionalization via photoredox catalysis and describe the utility of this strategy for arene amination. An organic photoredox-based catalyst system, consisting of an acridinium photooxidant and a nitroxyl radical, promotes site-selective amination of a variety of simple and complex aromatics with heteroaromatic azoles of interest in pharmaceutical research. We also describe the atom-economical use of ammonia to form anilines, without the need for prefunctionalization of the aromatic component.
Authors: Nathan A. Romero, Kaila A. Margrey, Nicholas E. Tay, David A. NicewiczSource:: Science : Current issues