In catalytic reactions with organocatalysts, it is difficult to control radical reactions. We designed a thiazolium-type N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst having an N-neopentyl group. This catalyst was found to actively control radical reactions and enabled production of more than 35 species of bulky dialkyl ketones from an aliphatic aldehyde and an aliphatic carboxylic acid derivative through a radical relay mechanism. This catalyst is expected to open the way for acceleration of drug discovery research.
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