Azoacetylenes for the Synthesis of Arylazotriazole Photoswitches

08 June 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


We report a modular approach towards novel arylazotriazole photoswitches and their photophysical characterization. Addition of lithiated TIPS-acetylene to aryldiazonium tetrafluoroborate salts gives a wide range of azoacetylenes, constituting an underexplored class of stable intermediates. In situ desilylation transiently leads to terminal arylazoacetylenes that undergo copper-catalyzed cycloadditions (CuAAC) with a diverse collection of organoazides. These include complex molecules derived from natural products or drugs, such as colchicine, taxol, tamiflu, and arachidonic acid. The arylazotriazoles display near-quantitative photoisomerization and long thermal Z-half-lives. Using the method, we introduce for the first time the design and synthesis of a diacetylene platform that permits implementation of a consecutive and diversity-oriented approach linking two different conjugants to independently addressable acetylenes within a common photoswitchable azotriazole. This is showcased in the synthesis of several photoswitchable conjugates, with potential applications as photoPROTACs and photoswitchable biotin conjugates




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