Strained Polycycles by H5C5x Free-Radical Cascades

An H5C5x-type free-radical chain reaction selectively generates up to three new bonds and three new stereocenters in one pot. This previously unexploited strategy provides a straightforward route to the tricyclic cyclopenta[c]indene skeleton, present in a wide range of pharmacologically active natural products, and can significantly simplify the synthesis of other strained polycyclic structures by sidestepping protection, deprotection, and functional group interconversion steps.