Resurgence and advancement of photochemical hydrogen atom transfer processes in selective alkane functionalizations

    Liang Changa, Shun Wangb, Qing Anb, Linxuan Liub, Hexiang Wangb, Yubo Lib, Kaixuan Fengb and Zhiwei Zuob

    • aSchool of Pharmacy, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, China
    • bState Key Laboratory of Organometallic Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China

    The selective functionalization of alkanes has long been recognized as a prominent challenge and an arduous task in organic synthesis. Hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) processes enable the direct generation of reactive alkyl radicals from feedstock alkanes and have been successfully employed in industrial applications such as the methane chlorination process, etc. Nevertheless, challenges in the regulation of radical generation and reaction pathways have created substantial obstacles in the development of diversified alkane functionalizations. In recent years, the application of photoredox catalysis has provided exciting opportunities for alkane C–H functionalization under extremely mild conditions to trigger HAT processes and achieve radical-mediated functionalizations in a more selective manner. Considerable efforts have been devoted to building more efficient and cost-effective photocatalytic systems for sustainable transformations. In this perspective, we highlight the recent development of photocatalytic systems and provide our views on current challenges and future opportunities in this field.

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