Photochemical synthesis of acetals utilizing Schreiner's thiourea as the catalyst†
Acetalization of aldehydes is an area of great importance in Organic Chemistry for both synthetic and biological puproses. Herein, we report a mild, inexpensive and green photochemical protocol, where Schreiner's thiourea (N,N′-bis[3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)-phenyl]-thiourea) is utilized as the catalyst and cheap household lamps as the light source. A variety of aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes were converted into acetals in good to high yields (23 examples, 36–96% yield) and an example of the synthesis of a cyclic acetal is provided. The reaction mechanism was also studied.