Metal-catalyzed electrochemical diazidation of alkenes
Vicinal diamines are a common structural motif in bioactive natural products, therapeutic agents, and molecular catalysts, motivating the continuing development of efficient, selective, and sustainable technologies for their preparation. We report an operationally simple and environmentally friendly protocol that converts alkenes and sodium azide—both readily available feedstocks—to 1,2-diazides. Powered by electricity and catalyzed by Earth-abundant manganese, this transformation proceeds under mild conditions and exhibits exceptional substrate generality and functional group compatibility. Using standard protocols, the resultant 1,2-diazides can be smoothly reduced to vicinal diamines in a single step, with high chemoselectivity. Mechanistic studies are consistent with metal-mediated azidyl radical transfer as the predominant pathway, enabling dual carbon-nitrogen bond formation.