A red-light-mediated BartonMcCombie reaction is described, in which chlorophyll a is used as a photocatalyst and tris(trimethylsilyl)silane or Hantzsch ester is used as the hydrogen source. The reaction can be performed with a set of easily available equipment and reagents, and a variety of linear and cyclic xanthates could be applied. In contrast to the traditional conditions, the reaction does not involve toxic organotin or an explosive radical initiator. The reaction mechanism was analyzed both by experiments and computation, and it was suggested that the radical chain mechanism initiated by excitation of complex followed by charge transfer is likely to be operative.
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