α-Arylated carboxylic acids and amides are widespread motifs in bioactive molecules and important building blocks in chemical synthesis. Thus, straightforward and rapid access to such structures is highly desirable. Here we report an organophotocatalytic multicomponent synthesis of α-arylated carboxylic acids, esters and amides from exhaustive defluorination of α-trifluoromethyl alkenes in the presence of alkyltrifluoroborates, water and nitrogen/oxygen nucleophiles. This operationally simple strategy features a unified access to functionally diverse α-arylated carboxylic acids, esters, primary, secondary, and tertiary amides through backbone assembly from simple starting materials enabled by consecutive C-F bond functionalization at room temperature. Preliminary mechanistic investigations reveal the reaction operates through a radical-triggered three-step cascade process, which involves distinct mechanisms for each defluorinative functionalization of C−F bond.
Accepted Manuscript available online 12/05/2022.