The reductive ring opening of epoxides is a powerful transformation to convert readily accessible epoxides into a diverse array of valuable alcohols, including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and functional polymers. Although significant progress has been made, the established methods were limited to titanocene-catalyzed reactions. Herein, we report an unprecedented zirconocene-catalyzed ring opening of epoxide enabled by photoredox catalysis. Compared with the conventional ring-opening methods, the present protocol exhibited reverse regioselectivity to afford more substituted alcohols via putative less-stable radicals. This reaction is remarkably mild and smoothly cleaves C–O bonds in molecules with a variety of functional groups, including natural products. We believe that the finding that changing the metal center in metallocene influences the energy profile of ring opening is a significant advance and provides a new perspective in radical chemistry with group IV metals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 化学 (全般)