CrossRef enabled

PAC Archives

Archive →

Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 7, pp. 1327-1334

Free radicals in synthesis. Clean reagents affording oxidative or reductive termination

John A. Murphy

Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, 295 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G1 1XL, UK

Abstract: Neurotoxic organotin reagents currently play a key role in radical chemistry. As a result, this is an important area for development of new clean replacement reactions. The pharmaceutical industry in particular has had to avoid use of radical methodology for the formation of carbon_carbon bonds for this reason. With the current dawn in green chemistry, a host of new clean radical methods is beginning to flourish. Our aim has been to develop new nontoxic methodology for carbon_carbon bond formation by radical chemistry, which would provide either reductive termination (giving a hydrogen atom to the ultimate radical, as happens with tributyltin hydride), or oxidative functionalization, installing a useful polar group at the site of the ultimate radical. Two methods for effecting radical reactions in an environmentally friendly way are presented: (i) The tetrathiafulvalene (TTF)-mediated radical-polar crossover reaction converts arenediazonium salts to aryl radicals, which have sufficient lifetime to cyclize onto alkenes—the resulting alkyl radicals couple with TTF+• to afford sulfonium salts which, in turn, undergo solvolysis to alcohols, ethers or amides. The method provides the key step in a synthesis of (±)-aspidospermidine. (ii) Hypophosphite salts and hypophosphorous acid, on the other hand, form C_C bonds with reductive termination. These economical reagents afford radicals efficiently, starting from aryl iodides, alkyl bromides, and alkyl iodides, and give very easy separation of products from by-products.