Photocatalytic α-Tertiary Amine Synthesis via C-H Alkylation of Unmasked Primary Amines

Alison S H Ryder, William B Cunningham, George Ballantyne, Tom Mules, Anna G Kinsella, Jacob Turner-Dore, Catherine M Alder, Lee J Edwards, Blandine S J McKay, Matthew N Grayson, Alexander J Cresswell

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95 Citations (SciVal)


A practical, catalytic entry to α,α,α-trisubstituted (α-tertiary) primary amines by C-H functionalisation has long been recognised as a critical gap in the synthetic toolbox. We report a simple and scalable solution to this problem that does not require any in situ protection of the amino group and proceeds with 100 % atom-economy. Our strategy, which uses an organic photocatalyst in combination with azide ion as a hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) catalyst, provides a direct synthesis of α-tertiary amines, or their corresponding γ-lactams. We anticipate that this methodology will inspire new retrosynthetic disconnections for substituted amine derivatives in organic synthesis, and particularly for challenging α-tertiary primary amines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14986-14991
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
Issue number35
Early online date11 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


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