Ultrafast Observation of a Photoredox Reaction Mechanism: Photoinitiation in Organocatalyzed Atom-Transfer Radical Polymerization
Photoredox catalysis has driven a revolution in the field of organic chemistry, but direct mechanistic insights into reactions of genuine synthetic utility remain relatively scarce. Herein we report ultrafast time-resolved spectroscopic observation of a bimolecular organocatalyzed photoredox reaction, from catalyst photoexcitation through to photoinduced electron transfer (PET) and intermediate formation, using transient vibrational and electronic absorption spectroscopy with sub-picosecond time resolution. Specifically, the photochemical dynamics of initiation in organocatalyzed atom-transfer radical polymerization (O-ATRP) are elucidated for two complementary photoredox organocatalysts (N,N-diaryl-5,10-dihydrophenazines). Following photoexcitation, a dissociative bimolecular electron transfer is observed from the first excited singlet state of both photocatalysts to methyl 2-bromopropionate in dichloromethane, toluene, and dimethylformamide. The photocatalyst excited donor state, ground state, and radic...
Daisuke Koyama; Harvey J. A. Dale; Andrew J. Orr-Ewing
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