A protocol for stereoselective C-radical addition to a chiral glyoxylate-derived N-sulfinyl imine was developed through visible light-promoted photoredox catalysis, providing a convenient method for the synthesis of unnatural α-amino acids. The developed protocol allows the use of ubiquitous carboxylic acids as radical precursors without prior derivatization. The protocol utilizes near-stoichiometric amounts of the imine and the acid radical precursor in combination with a catalytic amount of an organic acridinium-based photocatalyst. Alternative mechanisms for the developed transformation are discussed and corroborated by experimental and computational studies.
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