Diverse Alkyl–Silyl Cross-Coupling via Homolysis of Unactivated C(sp3)–O Bonds with the Cooperation of Gold and Amphoteric Oxides

05 September 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Since C(sp3)–O bonds are a ubiquitous chemical motif in both natural and artificial organic molecules, the universal transformation of C(sp3)–O bonds will be a key technology for achieving carbon neutrality. We report herein that gold nanoparticles supported on amphoteric metal oxides efficiently generated alkyl radicals via homolysis of unactivated C(sp3)–O bonds, which consequently promoted C(sp3)–Si bond formation to give diverse organosilicon compounds. A wide array of esters and ethers which are either commercially available or easily synthesized from alcohols participated in the heterogeneous gold-catalyzed silylation by disilanes to give diverse alkyl-, allyl-, benzyl- and allenylsilanes in high yields. In addition, this novel reaction technology for C(sp3)–O bond transformation could be applied to the upcycling of polyesters, i.e., the degradation of polyester and the synthesis of organosilanes were realized concurrently by the unique catalysis of supported gold nanoparticles. Mechanistic studies corroborated the notion that the generation of alkyl radicals is involved in C(sp3)–Si coupling and the cooperation of gold and an acid-base pair on amphoteric oxides is responsible for the homolysis of stable C(sp3)–O bonds. The high reusability and air-tolerance of the heterogeneous gold catalysts as well as a simple, scalable, and green reaction system not only enabled the practical synthesis of diverse organosilicon compounds, but also contributed to the progress toward carbon neutrality.


C-O activation
Gold catalyst
Heterogeneous catalyst

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Experimental procedures, characterization of supported Au catalysts, and 1H NMR, 13C NMR of the products


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