Anaerobic Hydroxylation of C(sp3)–H Bonds Enabled by the Synergistic Nature of Photoexcited Nitroarenes



A photoexcited nitroarene-mediated, anaerobic C–H hydroxylation of aliphatic systems is reported. The success of this reaction is due to the bifunctional nature of the photoexcited nitroarenes, which serve as the C–H bond activator and the oxygen atom source. Compared to previous methods, this approach is cost and atom economical due to the commercial availability of the nitroarene, the sole mediator of the reaction. Owing to the anaerobic conditions of the transformation, a noteworthy expansion in substrate scope can be obtained compared to prior reports. Mechanistic studies support that the photoexcited nitroarenes engage in successive hydrogen atom transfer and radical recombination events with hydrocarbons, leading to N-arylhydroxylamine ether intermediates. Spontaneous fragmentation of these intermediates leads to the key oxygen atom transfer products.

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The manuscript and SI were changed based on comments and suggested experiments from reviewers during the peer-review process.


Supplementary material

Supporting Information
Experimental details, optimization studies, characterization data, and NMR spectra (PDF).