Purdue University Graduate School

Greener Photoredox-Catalyzed Phosphonations of Aryl Halides

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Greener Photoredox-Catalyzed Phosphonations of Aryl Halides

posted on 2024-06-03, 18:28 authored by Alexandra Suzanne KelleyAlexandra Suzanne Kelley

Aromatic phosphonates and phosphine oxides are highly desirable synthetic targets used in pharmaceuticals, natural products, agrichemicals, catalysis, and materials science. While a variety of aromatic precursors have been used to access these motifs, aryl halides remain one of the most desirable coupling partners owing to their low cost, commercial availability, and regioselective reactivity. Traditional phosphonation often requires the use of harsh reductants in the presence of liquid ammonia, which are caustic and pose incredible environmental concerns. Milder, transition metal-catalyzed approaches have been developed, but can be limited by air sensitivity, cost, low reaction selectivity, and low functional group compatibility. Photoredox catalysis has been significantly advanced in the past decade in the pursuit of greener, more sustainable avenues to facilitate desirable reaction transformations under mild conditions. These methods most commonly use a dual catalytic strategy in which a metal is paired with an organocatalyst. While these approaches enable facile phosphonation of a variety of aromatic precursors, the metals and organocatalysts used are often expensive and toxic. Indeed, there remains unexplored chemical space for transition metal-free photoredox-catalyzed aryl C-P bond formations. Herein, we present a series of transition metal-free, photoredox-catalyzed approaches to the phosphonation of aryl halides. The approaches and mechanistic works will be discussed in the following order:

First, the discovery that 10H-phenothiazine (PTZ) enables the transition metal-free phosphonation of aryl halides using trialkyl phosphites will be presented. PTZ serves as a photocatalyst capable of reducing the aryl halide to access aryl radicals, which readily couple with phosphite esters. This transformation exhibits broad functional group tolerance in good to excellent yields. Then, photoredox catalysis by PTZ enables the formation of unsymmetrical aromatic phosphine oxides using triphenylphosphine (PPh3) and aryl halides. This is the first work in which PPh3 has been used as the starting material, and the reaction proceeds via the alkaline hydrolysis of quaternary phosphonium salts. The final work exhibits novel photocatalytic activity of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC) to activate aryl halides, form aryl radicals, and enable phosphonation. This method displays broad functional group tolerance under mild conditions and highlights its untapped synthetic utility as a photocatalyst.




Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Chemistry

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Sebastien Laulhe

Additional Committee Member 2

Robert Minto

Additional Committee Member 3

Yongming Deng

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