We report a photoinduced phenanthrene synthesis from aryl iodides and styrenes through an arylation/cyclization cascade. Compared to prior methods, this approach obviates the need for hazardous reagents and provides access to unsymmetrical phenanthrenes with good functional group tolerance. Mechanistic studies revealed that photoexcitation of aryl iodides leads to homolytic C-I bond cleavage. Arylation of styrenes with the formed aryl radical species furnishes stilbene derivatives, which undergo photoinduced cyclization promoted by iodine generated in situ to yield phenanthrene products.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry