We report herein an operationally simple method for the direct conversion of benzylic C-H groups to C-F. We show that visible light can activate diarylketones to abstract a benzylic hydrogen atom selectively. Adding a fluorine radical donor yields the benzylic fluoride and regenerates the catalyst. The selective formation of mono- and difluorination products can be achieved by catalyst control. 9-Fluorenone catalyzes benzylic C-H monofluorination, while xanthone catalyzes benzylic C-H difluorination. The scope and efficiency of this new C-H fluorination method are significantly better than those of the existing methods. This is also the first report of selective C-H gem-difluorination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry