Although carbon dioxide (CO 2) is highly abundant, its low reactivity has limited its use in chemical synthesis. In particular, methods for carbon-carbon bond formation generally rely on two-electron mechanisms for CO 2 activation and require highly activated reaction partners. Alternatively, radical pathways accessed via photoredox catalysis could provide new reactivity under milder conditions. Here we demonstrate the direct coupling of CO 2 and amines via the single-electron reduction of CO 2 for the photoredox-catalysed continuous flow synthesis of α-Amino acids. By leveraging the advantages of utilizing gases and photochemistry in flow, a commercially available organic photoredox catalyst effects the selective α-carboxylation of amines that bear various functional groups and heterocycles. The preliminary mechanistic studies support CO 2 activation and carbon-carbon bond formation via single-electron pathways, and we expect that this strategy will inspire new perspectives on using this feedstock chemical in organic synthesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)