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Enantioselective Decarboxylative Cyanation Employing Cooperative Photoredox Catalysis and Copper Catalysis

Dinghai Wang, Na Zhu, Pinhong Chen, Zhenyang Lin* and Guosheng Liu*

*The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong; Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, 345 Lingling Road, Shanghai 200032, China, Email:,

D. Wang, N. Zhu, P. Chen, Z. Lin, G. Liu, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 15632-15635.

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b09802


The merger of photoredox catalysis with asymmetric copper catalysis enables the synthesis of enantiomerically enriched alkyl nitriles from achiral carboxylic acids under mild reaction conditions. The reaction exhibits broad substrate scope, high yields and high enantioselectivities. Furthermore, the reaction can be scaled up to synthesize key chiral intermediates to bioactive compounds.

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proposed mechanism

Key Words

cyanation, photochemistry

ID: J48-Y2017