Electrocatalysis as an enabling technology for organic synthesis
Electrochemistry has recently gained increased attention as a versatile strategy for achieving challenging transformations at the forefront of synthetic organic chemistry. Electrochemistry's unique ability to generate highly reactive radical and radical ion intermediates in a controlled fashion under mild conditions has inspired the development of a number of new electrochemical methodologies for the preparation of valuable chemical motifs. Particularly, recent developments in electrosynthesis have featured an increased use of redox-active electrocatalysts to further enhance control over the selective formation and downstream reactivity of these reactive intermediates. Furthermore, electrocatalytic mediators enable synthetic transformations to proceed in a manner that is mechanistically distinct from purely chemical methods, allowing for the subversion of kinetic and thermodynamic obstacles encountered in conventional organic synthesis. This review highlights key innovations within the past decade in the area of synthetic electrocatalysis, with emphasis on the mechanisms and catalyst design principles underpinning these advancements. A host of oxidative and reductive electrocatalytic methodologies are discussed and are grouped according to the classification of the synthetic transformation and the nature of the electrocatalyst.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Radical Chemistry