PHOTOCATALYSIS: Asymmetric copper-catalyzed C-N cross-couplings induced by visible light

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Abstract

Despite a well-developed and growing body of work in copper catalysis, the potential of copper to serve as a photocatalyst remains underexplored. Here we describe a photoinduced copper-catalyzed method for coupling readily available racemic tertiary alkyl chloride electrophiles with amines to generate fully substituted stereocenters with high enantioselectivity. The reaction proceeds at -40°C under excitation by a blue light-emitting diode and benefits from the use of a single, Earth-abundant transition metal acting as both the photocatalyst and the source of asymmetric induction. An enantioconvergent mechanism transforms the racemic starting material into a single product enantiomer.

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