Electro-mediated PhotoRedox Catalysis for Selective C(sp3)-O Cleavages of Phosphinates to Carbanions


We report a novel example of electro-mediated photoredox catalysis (e-PRC) in the reductive cleavage of C(sp3)-O bonds of phosphinates to alkyl carbanions. As well as deoxygenations, olefinations are reported which are E-selective and can be made Z-selective in a tandem reduction/photosensitization process where both steps are photoelectrochemically promoted. Spectroscopy, computation and catalyst structural variations reveal that our new naphthalene monoimide-type catalyst allows for a more intimate dispersive precomplexation of its radical anion form with the phosphinate substrate, facilitating a reactivity-determining C(sp3)-O cleavage. Surprisingly and in contrast to previously reported photoexcited radical anion chemistries, our conditions i) tolerate aryl chlorides/bromides and ii) do not give rise to Birch-type reductions.


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