Research group of Dr. Mary Watson from the University of Delaware made progress on catalytic cross-coupling reactions and published their work on J. Am. Chem. Soc.

Alkyl amines have long been recognized as excellent precursors to more complex nitrogen-containing products. Watson and co-workers have now developed a strategy that allows alkyl amines to also be used as alkylation agents via nickel-catalyzed deaminative cross-coupling reactions. In this chemistry, the amine is first converted to a Katritzky pyridinium salt. The redox-active alkylpyrinidinium salt then undergoes nickel-catalyzed activation and subsequent coupling with an arylboronic acid, ultimately delivering an alkyl arene. Given the vast array of alkyl amines in synthetic intermediates, pharmaceuticals, and biomolecules, this reaction offers exciting possibilities for late-stage functionalization to create new molecules.

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