19 January 2024

Reversible Radical Addition Guides Selective Photocatalytic Intermolecular Thiol-Yne-Ene Molecular Assembly

In the realm of modern organic chemistry, harnessing the power of multicomponent radical reactions presents both significant challenges and extraordinary potential. This article delves into this scientific frontier by addressing the critical issue of controlling selectivity in such complex processes. We introduce a novel approach that revolves around the reversible addition of thiyl radicals to multiple bonds, reshaping the landscape of multicomponent radical reactions. The key to selectivity lies in the intricate interplay between reversibility and the energy landscapes governing C-C bond formation in thiol-yne-ene reactions. The developed approach not only allows to prioritize the thiol-yne-ene cascade, dominating over alternative reactions, but also extends the scope of coupling products obtained from alkenes and alkynes of various structures and electron density distributions, regardless of their relative polarity difference, opening doors to more versatile synthetic possibilities. In the present study, we provide a powerful tool for atom-economical C-S and C-C bond formation, paving the way for the efficient synthesis of complex molecules. Carrying out our experimental and computational studies, we elucidated the fundamental mechanisms underlying radical cascades, a knowledge that can be broadly applied in the field of organic chemistry.

Reference: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2024, e202314208.

DOI: 10.1002/anie.202314208