Iodine Catalyzed Synthesis of Substituted Furans and Pyrans: Reaction Scope and Mechanistic Insights

Substituted pyrans and furans are core structures found in a wide variety of natural products and biologically-active compounds. Herein, we report a practical and mild catalytic method for the synthesis of substituted pyrans and furans using molecular iodine, a simple and inexpensive catalyst. The method described herein is performed in solvent-free conditions in ambient temperature and atmosphere, thus offering a facile and green alternative to currently available reaction protocols. A combination of experimental studies and high‐level DFT calculations revealed interesting mechanistic insights of this seemingly simple reaction.