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  1. Abstract

    Undirected C(sp3)−H functionalization reactions often follow site‐selectivity patterns that mirror the corresponding C−H bond dissociation energies (BDEs). This often results in the functionalization of weaker tertiary C−H bonds in the presence of stronger secondary and primary bonds. An important, contemporary challenge is the development of catalyst systems capable of selectively functionalizing stronger primary and secondary C−H bonds over tertiary and benzylic C−H sites. Herein, we report a Cu catalyst that exhibits a high degree of primary and secondary over tertiary C−H bond selectivity in the amidation of linear and cyclic hydrocarbons with aroyl azides ArC(O)N3. Mechanistic and DFT studies indicate that C−H amidation involves H‐atom abstraction from R‐H substrates by nitrene intermediates [Cu](κ2N,O‐NC(O)Ar) to provide carbon‐based radicals R.and copper(II)amide intermediates [CuII]‐NHC(O)Ar that subsequently capture radicals form products R‐NHC(O)Ar. These studies reveal important catalyst features required to achieve primary and secondary C−H amidation selectivity in the absence of directing groups.

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    α-substituted ketones are important chemical targets as synthetic intermediates as well as functionalities in in natural products and pharmaceuticals. We report the sp3 C-H α-acetylation of sp3 C-H substrates R-H with arylmethyl ketones ArC(O)Me to provide α-alkylated ketones ArC(O)CH2R at RT with tBuOOtBu as oxidant via copper(I) β-diketiminato catalysts. Proceeding via alkyl radicals R•, this method enables α-substitution with bulky substituents without competing elimination that occurs in more traditional alkylation reactions between enolates and alkyl electrophiles. DFT studies suggest the intermediacy of copper(II) enolates [CuII](CH2C(O)Ar) that capture alkyl radicals R• to give R-CH2C(O)Ar under competing dimerization of the copper(II) enolate to give the 1,4-diketone ArC(O)CH2CH2C(O)Ar. 
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