Organic Chemistry Portal



Reductive Deuteration of Aromatic Esters for the Synthesis of α,α-Dideuterio Benzyl Alcohols Using D2O as Deuterium Source

Shihui Luo, Chaoqun Weng, Yuxuan Ding, Chen Ling, Michal Szostak, Xiaodong Ma*, Jie An*

*College of Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083; Department of Nutrition and Health, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China, Email:,

S. Luo, C. Weng, Y. Ding, C. Ling, M. Szostak, X. Ma, J. An, Synlett, 2021, 32, 51-56.

DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1705944 (free Supporting Information)

see article for more reactions


The use of D2O and  SmI2 as a mild single-electron donor enables a general single-electron transfer reductive deuteration of readily commercially available aromatic esters for the synthesis of α,α-dideuterio benzyl alcohols. This operationally convenient method features high deuterium incorporations and very good functional group tolerance.

see article for more examples

Pentafluorophenyl Esters: Highly Chemoselective Ketyl Precursors for the Synthesis of α,α-Dideuterio Alcohols Using SmI2 and D2O as a Deuterium Source

H. Li, Y. Hou, C. Liu, Z. Lai, L. Ning, R. Szostak, M. Szostak, J. An, Org. Lett., 2020, 22, 1249-1253.

Key Words

reductive deuteration, α,α-dideuterio benzyl alcohol, samarium diiodide, single-electron transfer, reduction of esters, D2O

ID: J72-Y2021