Catalytic C(sp3)–H Bond Activation in Tertiary Alkylamines

Matthew Gaunt presents the first examples of a tertiary alkylamine directed C(sp3)–H activation reaction.

Over the last decade, the field of C–H activation has evolved from using bespoke strongly chelating functional groups to the development of much more appealing transformations which exploit the directing ability of native functionalities such as carboxylic acids, amides and amines, among others. In this regard, the group of Professor Matthew Gaunt at the University of Cambridge (UK) recently reported the first examples of a tertiary alkylamine directed C(sp3)–H activation reaction. Professor Gaunt explained that “tertiary alkylamines have been historically used in palladium-catalyzed reactions to reduce a Pd(II) pre-catalyst into the desired active Pd(0) species to initiate, for example, a Suzuki cross-coupling reaction. A consequence of this reaction pathway is the oxidative decomposition of the tertiary alkylamine, which has precluded their use in C–H activation reactions.”

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