De novo design of organic photocatalysts: bithiophene derivatives for the visible‐light induced C‐H functionalization of heteroarenes

    • Cecilia Bottecchia1
    • Raul Martin2
    • Irini Abdiaj3
    • Ettore Crovini4
    • Jesus Alcazar3
    • Jesus Jorduna
    • Maria Blesa
    • Jose Carrillo3
    • Pilar Prieto
    • Timothy Noel1
    • 1 TU Eindhoven, Netherlands
    • 2 Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha Facultad de Ciencias y Tecnologias Quimicas de Ciudad Real, Spain
    • 3 Janssen Research and Development, Spain
    • 4 University of Saint Andrews School of Chemistry, United Kingdom

    Herein, we report the de novo synthesis and characterization of a series of substituted bithiophene derivatives as novel and inexpensive organic photocatalysts. DFT calculations were used to predict a priori their absorption spectra and redox potentials, which were then confirmed with empirical data. The photocatalytic activity of this novel class of organic photoredox catalyst was demonstrated in two visible‐light mediated strategies for the C‐H functionalization of heteroarenes. The implementation of these strategies in a continuous‐flow photo‐microreactor afforded moderate to excellent yields within few minutes of reaction time. Due to their straightforward synthesis, low cost and good photocatalytic properties we believe that the proposed bithiophene derivatives could be employed as a new class of organic photoredox catalysts.

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