Discovery of a photochemical cascade process by flow-based interception of isomerising alkenes†
Herein we report the discovery of a new photochemical cascade process through a flow-based strategy for intercepting diradicals generated from simple alkenes. This continuous process delivers a series of unprecedented polycyclic reaction products. Exploring the scope of this novel process revealed that this approach is general and affords a variety of structurally complex reaction products in high yields (up to 81%), short reaction times (7 min) and high throughputs (up to 5.5 mmol h−1). A mechanistic rationale is presented that is supported by computations as well as isolation of key intermediates whose identity is confirmed by X-ray crystallography. The presented photochemical cascade process demonstrates the discovery of new chemical reactivity and complex chemical scaffolds by continuously generating and intercepting high-energy intermediates in a highly practical manner.