A new oxidation reaction based on two simple catalysts, namely, alloxan and a CuI salt, is highly effective for the aerobic oxidation and oxidative cross-coupling of amines. The reaction is operationally simple, reaction atmospheres enriched in dioxygen are obviated, and neither catalyst component requires prior synthesis. Mechanistic investigations have been performed and point towards a complex reaction manifold with evidence that supports a catalytic cycle that does not proceed through a quinone-imine step. Additionally, this dual catalyst system is efficient to effect diimide-mediated hydrogenation reactions of alkenes and alkynes, a transformation that has not been reported previously in the context of quinone catalyst systems.
- Homogeneous catalysis