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Visible-Light Induced Singlet Nucleophilic Carbenes: Rapid and Mild Access to Fluorinated Tertiary Alcohol Derivatives

submitted on 19.12.2020, 08:55 and posted on 21.12.2020, 13:23 by Daniel Priebbenow, Rowan Pilkington, Anastasios Polyzos
Singlet nucleophilic carbenes (SNCs) that contain only one heteroatom donor remain underexplored and underutilized in chemical synthesis. To discover new synthetic strategies that harness these SNCs as reactive intermediates, aromatic or aliphatic siloxy carbenes represent excellent model substrates as they can be readily generated photochemically from stable acyl silane precursors. We herein report the discovery that photochemically generated siloxy carbenes undergo 1,2-carbonyl addition to trifluoromethyl ketones, followed by a silyl transfer process to afford benzoin-type products. This new transformation is a rare example of the use of ketones as trapping reagents for SNC intermediates and delivers an efficient, user-friendly and scalable process to access fluorinated tertiary alcohol derivatives driven by only light, circumventing the use of catalysts or additives.


Discovery Early Career Research Award (ARC) DE200100949


Email Address of Submitting Author


University of Melbourne



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

no conflict of interest

Version Notes

version one