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Electrophotochemical Metal‐catalyzed Enantioselective Decarboxylative Cyanation

In contrast to the rapid growth of electrophotocatalysis in recent years, enantioselective catalytic reactions powered by this unique methodology remain rare. In this work, we report an electrophotochemical metal-catalyzed protocol for direct asymmetric decarboxylative cyanation of aliphatic carboxylic acids. The synergistic merging of electrophotochemical cerium catalysis and asymmetric electrochemical copper catalysis permits mild reaction conditions for the formation and utilization of the key carbon centered radicals by combining the power of light and electrical energy. Electrophotochemical cerium catalysis enables radical decarboxylation to produce alkyl radicals, which could be effectively intercepted by asymmetric electrochemical copper catalysis for the construction of C–CN bonds in a highly stereoselective fashion. This environmentally benign method smoothly converts a diverse array of arylacetic acids into the corresponding alkyl nitriles in good yields and enantioselectivities without using chemical oxidants or pre-functionalization of the acid substrates and can be readily scaled up.

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