The use of diazonium salts for aryl radical generation and CH arylation processes has been known since 1896 when Pschorr first used the reaction for intramolecular cyclizations. Meerwein developed it further in the early 1900s into a general arylation method. However, this reaction could not compete with the transition-metal-mediated formation of C(sp2)C(sp2) bonds. The replacement of the copper catalyst with iron and titanium compounds improved the situation, but the use of photocatalysis to induce the one-electron reduction and activation of the diazonium salts is even more advantageous. The first photocatalyzed Pschorr cyclization was published in 1984, and just last year a series of papers described applications of photocatalytic Meerwein arylations leading to aryl–alkene coupling products. In this Minireview we summarize the origins of this reaction and its scope and applications.
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