Achieving selectivity in porphyrin bromination through a DoE-driven optimization under continuous flow conditions

    • Paolo Zardi
    • Michele Maggini
    • Tommaso Carofiglio
    • Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università degli Studi di Padova, Via Marzolo 1, 35131, Padova, Italy

    The post-functionalization of porphyrins through the bromination in β position of the pyrrolic rings is a relevant transformation because the resulting bromoderivatives are useful synthons to covalently link a variety of chemical architectures to a porphyrin ring. However, single bromination of porphyrins is a challenging reaction for the abundancy of reactive β-pyrrolic positions in the aromatic macrocycle. We herein report a synthetic procedure for the efficient preparation of 2-bromo-5,10,15,20-tetraphenylporphyrin (1) under continuous flow conditions. The use of flow technology allows to reach an accurate control over critical reaction parameters such as temperature and reaction time. Furthermore, by performing the optimization process through a statistical DoE (Design of Experiment) approach, these parameters could be properly adjusted with a limited number of experiments. This process led us to a better understanding of the relevant factors that govern porphyrins monobromination and to obtain compound 1 with an unprecedent 80% yield.

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