C(sp3)-H Fluorination with a Copper(II)/(III) Redox Couple

Despite the growing interest in the synthesis of fluorinated organic compounds, few methods are able to incorporate fluoride ion directly into alkyl C-H bonds. Here, we report the C(sp3)-H fluorination reactivity of a formally copper(III) fluoride complex. The C-H fluorination intermediate, LCuF, along with its chloride and bromide analogs, LCuCl and LCuBr, were prepared directly from halide sources with a chemical oxidant and fully characterized. While all three copper(III) halide complexes capture carbon radicals efficiently to afford C(sp3)-halogen bonds, LCuF is two orders of magnitude more efficient at hydrogen atom abstraction (HAA) than LCuCl and LCuBr. Alongside reported kinetic data for other LCu(III) species, we established a positive correlation between ligand basicity and the rate of HAA. The capability of LCuF to perform both hydrogen atom abstraction and radical capture was leveraged to enable fluorination of allylic and benzylic C-H bonds and α-C-H bonds of ethers at room temperature.