Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Dual catalysis at the flick of a switch

A combination of two catalysts — one of which is light-activated — has been used to promote new chemical reactivity, opening up fresh opportunities for the synthesis of structurally complex organic molecules. See Letter p.74

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Light-activated arylation of allylic carbon–hydrogen bonds.


  1. See all news & views


  1. Cuthbertson, J. D. & MacMillan, D. W. C. Nature 519, 74–77 (2015).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Nelson, N. & Ben-Shem, A. Nature Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 5, 971–982 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Kärkäs, M. D., Verho, O., Johnston, E. V. & Åkermark, B. Chem. Rev. 114, 11863–12001 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Prier, C. K., Rankic, D. A. & MacMillan, D. W. C. Chem. Rev. 113, 5322–5363 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Nicewicz, D. A. & MacMillan, D. W. C. Science 322, 77–80 (2008).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Kalyani, D., McMurtrey, K. B., Neufeldt, S. R. & Sanford, M. S. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 18566–18569 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. DiRocco, D. A. & Rovis, T. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 8094–8097 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hamilton, D. S. & Nicewicz, D. A. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 18577–18580 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Bergonzini, G., Schindler, C. S., Wallentin, C.-J., Jacobsen, E. N. & Stephenson, C. R. J. Chem. Sci. 5, 112–116 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Du, J., Skubi, K. L., Schultz, D. M. & Yoon, T. P. Science 344, 392–396 (2014).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Baguley, P. A. & Walton, J. C. Angew. Chem. Int. Edn 37, 3072–3082 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Qvortrup, K., Rankic, D. A. & MacMillan, D. W. C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 626–629 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hager, D. & MacMillan, D. W. C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 16986–16989 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Newcomb, M. Encyclopedia of Radicals in Chemistry, Biology and Materials (Wiley, 2012).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Corey R. J. Stephenson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Devery, J., Stephenson, C. Dual catalysis at the flick of a switch. Nature 519, 42–43 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing