Radical Trifluoroacetylation of Alkenes Triggered by a Visible-Light-Promoted C−O Bond Fragmentation of Trifluoroacetic Anhydride

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


Trifluoromethyl ketones are not only found in drug like substances, but are also considered as key synthons for the preparation of various fluorinated heterocyclic molecules. Access to such trifluoromethyl ketone derivatives typically requires the incorporation of the trifluoromethyl group, or a surrogate moiety, at the beginning of a multi-step synthetic sequence. However, direct trifluoroacylation of alkenes could potentially provide a highly efficient and straightforward method for the synthesis of a,b-unsaturated trifluoromethyl ketones. Here we report a mild and operationally simple trifluoroacylation strategy of olefines, that utilizes trifluoroacetic anhydride as a low-cost and readily available reagent. This light-mediated process is fundamentally different from conventional methodologies and occurs through an trifluoroacyl radical mechanism promoted by a photocatalyst. Beyond simple alkenes, this method allows for chemo- and regioselective functionalization of small-molecule drugs and common pharmacophores.


Photoredox Catalysts
Radical Mechanisms

Supplementary materials

SI ChemRxiv


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.