The photoredox catalytic coupling of halomethyl arenes to bibenzyl derivatives has been demonstrated. The catalytic protocol employed the Hantzsch ester, potassium phosphate, and a photoactive cyclometalated IrIIIcomplex catalyst. A photochemical quantum yield as high as 20 % was obtained. The catalytic mechanism was investigated in detail by performing photophysical and electrochemical measurements, as well as by quantum chemical calculations. The results suggest that two-electron mediation might be responsible for the improved photon economy. The reaction protocol was compatible with halomethyl arenes that contain a variety of functional groups. Finally, the synthetic utility of our protocol was demonstrated by the preparation of a natural dihydrostilbenoid, brittonin A.
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- Hantzsch ester
- organic chemistry
- radical coupling