Denitrative Hydroxylation of Unactivated Nitroarenes**

Lee Duff, Harry Meakin, Adam Richardson, Andrew J. Greener, George W.A. Smith, Ivan Ocaña, Victor Chechik, Michael J. James*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A one-step method for the conversion of nitroarenes into phenols under operationally simple, transition-metal-free conditions is described. This denitrative functionalization protocol provides a concise and economical alternative to conventional three-step synthetic sequences. Experimental and computational studies suggest that nitroarenes may be substituted by an electron-catalysed radical-nucleophilic substitution (SRN1) chain mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202203807
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Early online date8 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the University of York, the University of Manchester, the Leverhulme Trust (for an Early Career Fellowship, ECF‐2019‐135, M.J.J.) and the Royal Society (Research Grant RGS\R1\201268) for financial support. We would also like to thank Dr Jason Lynam, Dr William Unsworth and Prof. Peter O'Brien for helpful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Chemistry - A European Journal published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • denitrative functionalisation
  • hydroxylation
  • nitroarenes
  • radical anion
  • S1

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