Silver-Catalyzed Decarboxylative Radical Azidation of Aliphatic Carboxylic Acids in Aqueous Solution

We report herein an efficient and general method for the decarboxylative azidation of aliphatic carboxylic acids. Thus, with AgNO3 as the catalyst and K2S2O8 as the oxidant, the reactions of various aliphatic carboxylic acids with tosyl azide or pyridine-3-sulfonyl azide in aqueous CH3CN solution afforded the corresponding alkyl azides under mild conditions. A broad substrate scope and wide functional group compatibility were observed. A radical mechanism is proposed for this site-specific azidation.