Carbon Dioxide-Mediated C(sp2)–H Arylation of Primary and Secondary Benzylamines

Carbon-carbon bond formation by transition metal-catalyzed C–H activation has become an important strategy to fabricate new bonds in a rapid fashion. Despite the pharmacological importance of <i>ortho</i>-arylbenzylamines, however, effective <i>ortho</i>-C–C bond formation from C–H bond activation of free primary and secondary benzylamines using Pd<sup>II</sup> remains an outstanding challenge. Presented herein is a new strategy for constructing <i>ortho</i>-arylated primary and secondary benzylamines mediated by carbon dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>). The use of CO<sub>2</sub> is critical to allowing this transformation to proceed under milder conditions than previously reported, and that are necessary to furnish free amine products that can be directly used or elaborated without the need for deprotection. In cases where diarylation is possible, a chelate effect is demonstrated to facilitate selective monoarylation.