C-H Functionalization Reactions of Unprotected N-Heterocycles by Gold Catalyzed Carbene Transfer

30 March 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The C-H functionalization reaction of N-heterocycles with unprotected N-H group is one of the most step-economic strategies to introduce functional groups without the need of installation and removal of protecting groups. Despite recent significant advances in C-H functionalization chemistry, this strategy remains unsatisfactorily developed. In this report, we disclose a simple and straightforward protocol to allow for the selective C-H functionalization of unprotected double benzannellated N-heterocycles via gold catalyzed carbene transfer reactions (29 examples, up to 86% yield). The scope of the reaction can also be expanded to the corresponding protected heterocycles (37 examples, up to 98% yield), further demonstrating the generality of this method. Mechanistic studies by DFT calculations underpin the importance of the gold catalyst and reveal that the selectivity of this reaction is driven by trace amounts of water present in the reaction mixture.


C-H functionalization

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.