The advent and development of organophotoredox catalysis
In the last decade, photoredox catalysis has unlocked unprecedented reactivities in synthetic organic chemistry. Seminal advancements in the field have involved the use of well-studied metal complexes as photoredox catalysts (PCs). More recently, the synthetic community, looking for more sustainable approaches, has been moving towards the use of purely organic molecules. Organic PCs are generally cheaper and less toxic, while allowing their rational modification to an increased generality. Furthermore, organic PCs have allowed reactivities that are inaccessible by using common metal complexes. Likewise, in synthetic catalysis, the field of photocatalysis is now experiencing a green evolution moving from metal catalysis to organocatalysis. In this feature article, we discuss and critically comment on the scientific reasons for this ongoing evolution in the field of photoredox catalysis, showing how and when organic PCs can efficiently replace their metal counterparts.