Functionalised oximes: emergent precursors for carbon-, nitrogen- and oxygen-centred radicals

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Oxime derivatives are easily made, are non-hazardous and have long shelf lives. They contain weak N–O bonds that undergo homolytic scission, on appropriate thermal or photochemical stimulus, to initially release a pair of N- and O-centred radicals. This article reviews the use of these precursors for studying the structures, reactions and kinetics of the released radicals. Two classes have been exploited for radical generation; one comprises carbonyl oximes, principally oxime esters and amides, and the second comprises oxime ethers. Both classes release an iminyl radical together with an equal amount of a second oxygen-centred radical. The O-centred radicals derived from carbonyl oximes decarboxylate giving access to a variety of carbon-centred and nitrogen-centred species. Methods developed for homolytically dissociating the oxime derivatives include UV irradiation, conventional thermal and microwave heating. Photoredox catalytic methods succeed well with specially functionalised oximes and this aspect is also reviewed. Attention is also drawn to the key contributions made by EPR spectroscopy, aided by DFT computations, in elucidating the structures and dynamics of the transient intermediates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number63
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2016


  • Oxime esters
  • Oxime ethers
  • Free radicals
  • Organic synthesis
  • Photochemical reactions
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • Photoredox catalysis
  • N-heterocycles


Dive into the research topics of 'Functionalised oximes: emergent precursors for carbon-, nitrogen- and oxygen-centred radicals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this