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Photocatalytic carbanion generation from C–H bonds – reductant free Barbier/Grignard-type reactions

Berger, Anna Lucia ; Donabauer, Karsten ; König, Burkhard


We report a redox-neutral method for the generation of carbanions from benzylic C-H bonds in a photocatalytic Grignard-type reaction. The combination of photo- and hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) catalysis enables the abstraction of a benzylic hydrogen atom, generating a radical intermediate. This radical is reduced in situ by the organic photocatalyst to a carbanion, which is able to react with electrophiles such as aldehydes or ketones, yielding homobenzylic secondary and tertiary alcohols.

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