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Issue 41, 2020
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Catalytic generation of alkoxy radicals from unfunctionalized alcohols

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Alkoxy radicals have long been recognized as powerful synthetic intermediates with well-established reactivity patterns. Due to the high bond dissociation free energy of aliphatic alcohol O–H bonds, these radicals are difficult to access through direct homolysis, and conventional methods have instead relied on activation of O-functionalized precursors. Over the past decade, however, numerous catalytic methods for the direct generation of alkoxy radicals from simple alcohol starting materials have emerged and created opportunities for the development of new transformations. This minireview discusses recent advances in catalytic alkoxy radical generation, with particular emphasis on progress toward the direct activation of unfunctionalized alcohols enabled by transition metal and photoredox catalysis.

Graphical abstract: Catalytic generation of alkoxy radicals from unfunctionalized alcohols

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Article information

18 Aug 2020
21 Sep 2020
First published
21 Sep 2020

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

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 11124-11141
Article type

Catalytic generation of alkoxy radicals from unfunctionalized alcohols

E. Tsui, H. Wang and R. R. Knowles, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 11124 DOI: 10.1039/D0SC04542J

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.

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