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Roughness‐dependent Electro‐reductive Coupling of Nitrobenzenes and Aldehydes on Copper Electrodes

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

The electro-reductive coupling of nitro and carbonyl compounds enables a facile, environmentally friendly and energy benign transformation toward value-added nitrones or imines, but the selectivity is still challenging. Here, the surface roughness of Cu electrodes is for the first time introduced as the determinant to switch products from nitrones to imines thanks to the controllable reduction of nitroarenes to hydroxylamines or amines on tailored CuI/Cu0 interfaces. The roughness-dependent selectivity, i.e., the decrease of nitrones and the increase of imines with the upraised roughness, is visible in the electro-reductive coupling of nitrobenzene and furfural. Thereinto, the high selectivity of nitrone (98%) and imine (80%) can be achieved on a surface smooth Cu foil and the one electrochemically roughened in the presence of I-, respectively. Such roughness-dependence of nitrone/imine selectivity on Cu electrodes is further verified in a wide substrate scope, highlighting the promise of surface/interfacial engineering for electrochemical synthesis.

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