A cascade alkene sulfonylation that simultaneously forges C-S and C-C bonds is a highly efficient and powerful approach for directly accessing structurally diverse sulfonylated compounds in a single operation. The reaction was enabled by visible-light-mediated regioselective radical addition of sulfonyl chlorides to 2-arylstyrenes using fac[Ir(ppy)3] as a photocatalyst, demonstrating its unique role in a photocascade process to execute atom transfer radical addition (ATRA) followed by photocyclization. A new class of sulfonyl-substituted fluorenes and pyrroloindoles, which are useful in the field of photoelectronic materials and medicinal chemistry, was produced in excellent yields by this photocascade reaction. In contrast, the cyclization was interrupted when using the [Ru(bpy)3Cl2] catalyst having lower reduction potential, leading only to the formation of a C-S bond and the production of acyclic sulfonylated 2-arylstyrenes under identical reaction conditions. The synthetic utility of the present room-temperature photocatalysis is enhanced by the broad availability of bench-stable sulfonyl chlorides and unactivated olefins, thereby providing a cost-effective and broad-scope protocol.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry