Some aspects of radical cascade and relay reactions

Abstract : The ability to create carbon-carbon bonds is at the heart of organic synthesis. Radical processes are particularly apt at creating such bonds, especially in cascade or relay sequences where more than one bond is formed, allowing for a rapid assembly of complex structures. In the present brief overview, examples taken from the authors' laboratory will serve to illustrate the strategic impact of radical-based approaches on synthetic planning. Transformations involving nitrogen-centred radicals, electron transfer from metallic nickel and the reversible degenerative exchange of xanthates will be presented and discussed. The last method has proved to be a particularly powerful tool for the intermolecular creation of carbon-carbon bonds by radical additions even to unactivated alkenes. Various functional groups can be brought into the same molecule in a convergent manner and made to react together in order to further increase the structural complexity. One important benefit of this chemistry is the so-called RAFT/MADIX technology for the manufacture of block copolymers of almost any desired architecture.
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Béatrice Quiclet-Sire, Samir Zard. Some aspects of radical cascade and relay reactions. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Royal Society, The, 2017, 473 (2200), pp.20160859. ⟨10.1098/rspa.2016.0859⟩. ⟨hal-02091724⟩

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