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Ceramic boron carbonitrides for unlocking organic halides with visible light

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Abstract

Photochemistry provides a sustainable pathway for organic transformations by inducing radical intermediates from substrates through electron transfer process. However, progress is limited by heterogeneous photocatalysts that are required to be efficient, stable, and inexpensive for long-term operation with easy recyclability and product separation. Here, we report that boron carbonitride (BCN) ceramics are such a system and can reduce organic halides, including (het)aryl and alkyl halides, with visible light irradiation. Cross-coupling of halides to afford new C–H, C–C, and C–S bonds can proceed at ambient reaction conditions. Hydrogen, (het)aryl, and sulfonyl groups were introduced into the arenes and heteroarenes at the designed positions by means of mesolytic C–X (carbon–halogen) bond cleavage in the absence of any metal-based catalysts or ligands. BCN can be used not only for half reactions, like reduction reactions with a sacrificial agent, but also redox reactions through oxidative and reductive interfacial electron transfer. The BCN photocatalyst shows tolerance to different substituents and conserved activity after five recycles. The apparent metal-free system opens new opportunities for a wide range of organic catalysts using light energy and sustainable materials, which are metal-free, inexpensive and stable.

Graphical abstract: Ceramic boron carbonitrides for unlocking organic halides with visible light

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Article information


Submitted
22 Feb 2021
Accepted
22 Mar 2021
First published
23 Mar 2021

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2021, Advance Article
Article type
Edge Article

Ceramic boron carbonitrides for unlocking organic halides with visible light

T. Yuan, M. Zheng, M. Antonietti and X. Wang, Chem. Sci., 2021, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D1SC01028J

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