Organic Chemistry

A Photoredox-Catalyzed Approach for Formal Hydride Abstraction to Enable Csp3–H Functionalization with Nucleophilic Partners


While a great number of C–H functionalization methods have been developed in recent years, new mechanistic paradigms to deconstruct such bonds have been comparatively rare. Amongst possible strategies for breaking a Csp3–H bond are deprotonation, oxidative addition with a metal catalyst, direct insertion via a nitrene intermediate, hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) with both organic and metal-based abstractors, and lastly, hydride abstraction. The latter is a relatively unexplored approach due to the unfavorable thermodynamics of such an event, and thus has not been developed as a general way to target both activated and unactivated Csp3–H bonds on hydrocarbon substrates. Herein, we report our successful efforts in establishing a catalytic C–H functionalization manifold for accessing an intermediate carbocation by formally abstracting hydride from unactivated Csp3–H bonds. The novel catalytic design relies on a stepwise strategy driven by visible light photoredox catalysis and is demonstrated in the context of a C–H fluorination employing nucleophilic fluorine sources. Difluorination of methylene groups is also demonstrated, and represents the first C–H difluorination with nucleophilic fluoride. Additionally, the formal hydride abstraction is shown to be amenable to several other classes of nucleophiles, allowing for the construction of C–C or C–heteroatom bonds.


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Supplementary material

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SI-CH-nucleophilic fluorination-final