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Oxidant-Free Arene-Azole Cross-Coupling via [Acr+-Mes][ClO4-]

[Acr+-Mes][ClO4-] is utilized as a photocatalyst in a highly effective and mild C-N cross coupling transformation between alkylated arenes and azoles that is both photocatalyzed and oxidant free. Cross-coupling methods between nitrogen arenes and aromatic moieties are essential for the production of key pharmaceutical compounds, and there remains a need for regioselective and oxidant-free C-N cross-couplings, particularly due to methylarenes’ sensitivity to oxidative conditions. Additionally, the only waste product produced is gaseous hydrogen, the reaction requires no oxidant, and is regioselective to a variety of aromatic moieties. Notably, highly sterically congested substrates such as mesitylene, produce the desired products in very high yield. It is anticipated that these conditions will be used in pharmaceutical research.