A tailored COF for visible-light photosynthesis of 2, 3-dihydrobenzofurans

by Prakash T. Parvatkar, Sharath Kandambeth, Aslam C. Shaikh, Issatay Nadinov, Jun Yin, Vinayak S. Kale, George Healing, Abdul-Hamid Emwas, Osama Shekhah, Husam N. Alshareef, Omar F. Mohammed, Mohamed Eddaoudi
Year: 2023 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.2c10471


Heterogeneous photocatalysis is considered as an ecofriendly and sustainable approach for addressing energy and environmental persisting issues. Recently, heterogeneous photocatalysts based on covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have gained considerable attention due to their remarkable performance and recyclability in photocatalytic organic transformations, offering a prospective alternative to homogeneous photocatalysts based on precious metal/organic dyes. Herein, we report Hex-Aza-COF-3 as a metal-free, visible-light-activated, and reusable heterogeneous photocatalyst for the synthesis of 2,3-dihydrobenzofurans, as a pharmaceutically relevant structural motif, via the selective oxidative [3+2] cycloaddition of phenols with olefins. Moreover, we demonstrate the synthesis of natural products (±)-conocarpan and (±)-pterocarpin via the [3+2] cycloaddition reaction as an important step using Hex-Aza-COF-3 as a heterogeneous photocatalyst. Interestingly, the presence of phenazine and hexaazatriphenylene as rigid heterocyclic units in Hex-Aza-COF-3 strengthens the covalent linkages, enhances the absorption in the visible region, and narrows the energy band, leading to excellent activity, charge transport, stability, and recyclability in photocatalytic reactions, as evident from theoretical calculations and real-time information on ultrafast spectroscopic measurements.