Wen-Jun Zhou;Zhe-Hao Wang;Li-Li Liao;Yuan-Xu Jiang;Ke-Gong Cao;Tao Ju;Yiwen Li;Guang-Mei Cao;Da-Gang Yu
Catalytic reductive coupling of two electrophiles and one unsaturated bond represents an economic and efficient way to construct complex skeletons, which is dominated by transition-metal catalysis via two electron transfer. Herein, we report a strategy of visible-light photoredox-catalyzed successive single electron transfer, realizing dearomative arylcarboxylation of indoles with CO2. This strategy avoids common side reactions in transition-metal catalysis, including ipso-carboxylation of aryl halides and β-hydride elimination. This visible-light photoredox catalysis shows high chemoselectivity, low loading of photocatalyst, mild reaction conditions (room temperature, 1 atm) and good functional group tolerance, providing great potential for the synthesis of valuable but difficultly accessible indoline-3-carboxylic acids. Mechanistic studies indicate that the benzylic radicals and anions might be generated as the key intermediates, thus providing a direction for reductive couplings with other electrophiles, including D2O and aldehyde.