An unprecedented approach to the generation of an N-centered radical via a photocatalytic energy-transfer process from readily available heterocyclic precursors is reported, which is distinctive of the previous electron transfer approaches. In combination with singlet oxygen, the in-situ-generated nitrogen radical from the oxadiazoline substrate in the presence of fac-Ir(ppy)3 undergoes a selective ipso addition to arenes to furnish remotely double-functionalized spiro-azalactam products. The mechanistic studies provide compelling evidence that the catalytic cycle selects the energy-transfer pathway. A concurrent activation of molecular oxygen to generate singlet oxygen by energy transfer is also rationalized. Furthermore, the occurrence of the electron transfer phenomenon is excluded on the basis of the negative driving forces for one-electron transfer between oxadiazoline and the excited state of fac-Ir(ppy)3 with a consideration of their redox potentials. The necessity of singlet oxygen as well as the photoactivated oxadiazoline substrate is clearly supported by a series of controlled experiments. Density functional studies have also been carried out to support these observations. The scope of substrates is explored by synthesizing diversely functionalized cyclohexadienone moieties in view of their utility in complex organic syntheses and as potential targets in pharmacology.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2012M3A7B4049657, NRF-2014011165, NRF-2017R1A2B2004082, and NRF-2019R1A2C2003969). We thank Hongil Jo (Chung-Ang University) for help with X-ray crystallography and Prof. Sukbok Chang (KAIST) for critical advice and guidance for the article.
© 2019 American Chemical Society.