Site-specific Deaminative Trifluoromethylation of Aliphatic Primary Amines

21 August 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The introduction of trifluoromethyl groups into organic molecules is of paramount importance in modern synthetic chemistry and medicinal chemistry. While methods for constructing C(sp2)-CF3 bonds have been well established, the advancement of practical and comprehensive approaches for forming C(sp3)-CF3 bonds remains considerably restricted. In this work, we describe an efficient and site-specific deaminative trifluoromethylation reaction of aliphatic primary amines to afford the corresponding alkyl trifluoromethyl compounds. The reaction proceeds at room temperature with readily accessible N-anomeric amide and bench-stable bpyCu(CF3)3 (Grushin’s reagent) under blue light. The protocol features mild reaction conditions, good functional group tolerance, and moderate to good yields. Remarkably, the method can be applied to the direct, late-stage trifluoromethylation of natural products and bioactive molecules. Experimental mechanistic studies were conducted, and a radical mechanism is proposed, wherein the dual roles of Grushin’s reagent have been elucidated.


aliphatic primary amine
radical coupling

Supplementary materials

Supporting information
reaction procedures, characterizations of the starting materials and products


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