A metal-free strategy for the formation of lactams via selective oxidation of cyclic secondary and tertiary amines is described. Molecular iodine facilitates both chemoselective and regioselective oxidation of C–H bonds directly adjacent to a cyclic amine. The mild conditions, functional group tolerance, and substrate scope are demonstrated using a suite of diverse small molecule cyclic amines, including clinically approved drug scaffolds.
- amine oxidation
- drug scaffolds