ACS Cent. Sci. 2016, 2, 715-724.
Selective functionalization of complex scaffolds is a promising approach to alter the pharmacological profiles of natural products and their derivatives. We report the site-selective azidation of benzylic and aliphatic C–H bonds in complex molecules catalyzed by the combination of Fe(OAc)2 and a PyBox ligand. The same system also catalyzes the trifluoromethyl azidation of olefins to form derivatives of natural products containing both fluorine atoms and azides. In general, both reactions tolerate a wide range of functional groups and occur with predictable regioselectivity. Azides obtained by functionalization of C–H and C═C bonds were converted to the corresponding amines, amides, and triazoles, thus providing a wide variety of nitrogen-containing complex molecules.