Nickel/biimidazole-catalyzed electrochemical enantioselective reductive cross-coupling of aryl aziridines with aryl iodides

Nat Commun. 2023 Apr 22;14(1):2322. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-37965-0.


Here, we report an asymmetric electrochemical organonickel-catalyzed reductive cross-coupling of aryl aziridines with aryl iodides in an undivided cell, affording β-phenethylamines in good to excellent enantioselectivity with broad functional group tolerance. The combination of cyclic voltammetry analysis of the catalyst reduction potential as well as an electrode potential study provides a convenient route for reaction optimization. Overall, the high efficiency of this method is credited to the electroreduction-mediated turnover of the nickel catalyst instead of a metal reductant-mediated turnover. Mechanistic studies suggest a radical pathway is involved in the ring opening of aziridines. The statistical analysis serves to compare the different design requirements for photochemically and electrochemically mediated reactions under this type of mechanistic manifold.

PMID:37087477 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-37965-0


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