The Tandem Photoredox Catalysis Mechanism of [Ir(ppy)2(dtb-bpy)]+ Enabling Access to Energy Demanding Organic Substrates Academic Article uri icon


  • We report the discovery of a tandem catalytic process to reduce energy demanding substrates, using the [Ir(ppy)2(dtb-bpy)]+ (1+) photocatalyst. The immediate products of photoinitiated electron transfer (PET) between 1+ and triethylamine (TEA) undergo subsequent reactions to generate a previously unknown, highly reducing species (2). Formation of 2 occurs via reduction and semisaturation of the ancillary dtb-bpy ligand, where the TEA radical cation serves as an effective hydrogen atom donor, confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, and deuterium labeling experiments. Steady-state and time-resolved luminescence and absorption studies reveal that upon irradiation, 2 undergoes electron transfer or proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) with a representative acceptor (N-(diphenylmethylene)-1-phenylmethanamine; S). Turnover of this new photocatalytic cycle occurs along with the reformation of 1+. We rationalize our observations by proposing the first example of a mechanistic pathway where two distinct yet interconnected photoredox cycles provide access to an extended reduction potential window capable of engaging a wide range of energy demanding and synthetically relevant organic substrates including aryl halides.

publication date

  • 2019