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Semiconductor photocatalysis type B: synthesis of unsaturated alpha-amino esters from imines and olefins photocatalyzed by silica-supported cadmium sulfide



Semiconductor photocatalysis type B: synthesis of unsaturated alpha-amino esters from imines and olefins photocatalyzed by silica-supported cadmium sulfide



Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 1(9): 696-703



Novel unsaturated N-phenyl-alpha-amino esters were synthesized in isolated yields of 50 to 10% by visible light irradiation of methanolic suspensions of silica-supported cadmium sulfide in the presence of methyl (2Z)-phenyl(phenylimino)acetate and various cyclic olefins. A semiconductor photocatalysis mechanism is proposed for this linear addition reaction. The light-generated electron-hole pair in the oxidative step induces a dissociative electron transfer from the olefin to CdS affording a proton and an allylic radical, whereas in the reductive step an alpha-aminobenzyl radical is formed in a proton coupled reaction. Heterocoupling of these intermediate radicals leads to the corresponding addition products. As the only by-product the hydrogenated imine is obtained in comparable amounts through the subsequent photoreduction of the alpha-aminobenzyl radical. Supporting the catalyst on silica made the reaction three times faster as compared to neat CdS. When the surface OH groups of CdS were removed through alkylation, the reaction between ArCH=NAr (Ar = p-C1C6H4) and cyclopentene was completely inhibited, but occurred again upon replacing the aldimine by its hydrochloride salt. This indicates that the protonated aldimine is involved in the reductive reaction step. Protonation makes this reduction easier by 0.1 V as indicated by the shift of the reduction potential of methyl (2Z)-phenyl(phenylimino)acetate upon addition of glacial acetic acid to the acetonitrile solution.

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Accession: 050277591

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PMID: 12665308


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