Chinese Journal of Catalysis ›› 2022, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (4): 956-970.DOI: 10.1016/S1872-2067(21)63928-1

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Photo- and electro-catalytic deuteration of feedstock chemicals and pharmaceuticals: A review

Wei Ou, Chuntian Qiu*(), Chenliang Su#()   

  1. SZU-NUS Collaborative Center and International Collaborative Laboratory of 2D Materials for Optoelectronic Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2021-07-20 Accepted:2021-07-20 Online:2022-03-05 Published:2021-09-06
  • Contact: Chuntian Qiu, Chenliang Su
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(21972094);fun: National Natural Science Foundation of China(21902105);Guangdong Special Support Program;Pengcheng Scholar Program;Shenzhen Science and Technology Program(RCJC20200714114434086);Shenzhen Science and Technology Program(JCYJ20190808142001745);Shenzhen Science and Technology Program(JCYJ20200812160737002);Shenzhen Science and Technology Program(KQTD2016053112042971);Guangdong Basic and Applied Basic Research Foundation(2020A1515010471);Foundation for Distinguished Young Talents in Higher Education of Guangdong(2018KQNCX221)


Deuterium labeling techniques are widely utilized as efficient tools to study the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of pharmaceuticals. Moreover, deuterium-labeled drugs are expected to prolong the half-life of drug metabolism, enhance the efficacy of drugs, close metabolic sites, and decrease side effects. Thus, there is a rising demand for the practical construction of deuterium-labeled drugs and their intermediates under mild conditions. This paper timely provides an overview of the recent advances in both photo- and electro-catalytic mild and selective deuteration of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals with low-cost and sustainable deuterium source. Three types of deuteration strategies are discussed according to the deuteration mode, named deuterium atom transfer strategy, deuterium atom abstraction strategy and deuterated water splitting strategy respectively. The application scope and mechanistic insights are discussed comprehensively. Finally, the perspective on the challenges and future development trends for photo- and electro-catalytic deuteration strategies are also presented.

Key words: Photocatalysis, Electrocatalysis, Deuterium-labelled drugs, H/D atom transfer, Single electron transfer