Issue 10, 2015

Characterizing chain processes in visible light photoredox catalysis


The recognition that Ru(bpy)32+ and similar visible light absorbing transition metal complexes can be photocatalysts for a variety of synthetically useful organic reactions has resulted in a recent resurgence of interest in photoredox catalysis. However, many of the critical mechanistic aspects of this class of reactions remain poorly understood. In particular, the degree to which visible light photoredox reactions involve radical chain processes has been a point of some disagreement that has not been subjected to systematic analysis. We have now performed quantum yield measurements to demonstrate that three representative, mechanistically distinct photoredox processes involve product-forming chain reactions. Moreover, we show that the combination of quantum yield and luminescence quenching experiments provides a rapid method to estimate the length of these chains. Together, these measurements constitute a robust, operationally facile strategy for characterizing chain processes in a wide range of visible light photoredox reactions.

Graphical abstract: Characterizing chain processes in visible light photoredox catalysis

Associated articles

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Edge Article
17 Jun 2015
07 Jul 2015
First published
07 Jul 2015
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Sci., 2015,6, 5426-5434

Characterizing chain processes in visible light photoredox catalysis

M. A. Cismesia and T. P. Yoon, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 5426 DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02185E

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity