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Tertiary Alcohols as Radical Precursors for the Introduction of Tertiary Substituents into Heteroarenes


Despite many recent advances in the radical alkylation of electron-deficient heteroarenes since the seminal reports by Minisci and co-workers, methods for the direct incorporation of tertiary alkyl substituents into nitrogen heteroarenes are limited. This report describes the use of tert-alkyl oxalate salts, derived from tertiary alcohols, to introduce tertiary substituents into a variety of heterocyclic substrates. This reaction has reasonably broad scope, proceeds rapidly under mild conditions, and is initiated by either photochemical or thermal activation. Insights into the underlying mechanism of the higher yielding visible-light initiated process were obtained by flash photolysis studies, whereas computational studies provided insight into the reaction scope.

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