Organocatalyzed Anodic Oxidation of Aldehydes to Thioesters

A method has been developed for the direct conversion of aldehydes to thioesters via integration of organocatalysis and electrosynthesis. The thiazolium precatalyst was found to facilitate oxidation of thiolate anions, leading to deleterious formation of disulfide byproducts. By circumventing this competing reaction, thioesters were obtained in good-to-excellent yields for a broad range of aldehyde and thiol substrates. This approach provides an atom-efficient thioesterification that circumvents the need for stoichiometric exogenous oxidants, high cell potentials, or redox mediators.

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