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Rapid and Simple Access to α-(Hetero)arylacetonitriles from Gem-Difluoroalkenes

Jun-Qi Zhang*, Jiayue Liu, Dandan Hu, Jinyu Song, Guorong Zhu and Hongjun Ren*

*Advanced Research Institute and Department of Chemistry, Taizhou University, Jiaojiang 318000, Zhejiang, P. R. China, Email:,

J.-Q. Zhang, J. Liu, D. Hu, J. Song, G. Zhu, H. Ren, Org. Lett., 2022, 24, 786-790.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.1c04336


A scalable cyanation of gem-difluoroalkenes to (hetero)arylacetonitrile derivatives offers mild reaction conditions, excellent yields, wide substrate scope, and broad functional group tolerance. Significantly, the use of aqueous ammonia entirely avoids toxic cyanating reagents or metal catalysis and enables a green synthesis of arylacetonitriles.

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proposed reaction pathway

Key Words

nitriles, green chemistry

ID: J54-Y2022