Photocatalysis with Quantum Dots and Visible Light: Selective and Efficient Oxidation of Alcohols to Carbonyl Compounds through a Radical Relay Process in Water

Lei Min Zhao, Qing Yuan Meng, Xiang Bing Fan, Chen Ye, Xu Bing Li, Bin Chen, Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy, Chen Ho Tung, Li Zhu Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


Selective oxidation of alcohols to aldehydes/ketones has been achieved with the help of 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA)-capped CdSe quantum dot (MPA-CdSe QD) and visible light. Visible-light-prompted electron-transfer reaction initiates the oxidation. The thiyl radical generated from the thiolate anion adsorbed on a CdSe QD plays a key role by abstracting the hydrogen atom from the C−H bond of the alcohol (R1CH(OH)R2). The reaction shows high efficiency, good functional group tolerance, and high site-selectivity in polyhydroxy compounds. The generality and selectivity reported here offer a new opportunity for further applications of QDs in organic transformations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3020-3024
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 6 2017



  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • photocatalysis
  • quantum dots
  • selective dehydrogenation
  • sustainable chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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