Molecular oxygen (O2) was successfully employed as a reoxidant in cyclizations of thiobenzanilides 1a-s through a palladium-catalyzed C-H functionalization/intramolecular C-S bond formation process, leading to an efficient, green method for the synthesis of 2-arylbenzothiazoles 2a-s. Addition of cesium fluoride (CsF) greatly enhanced the reactions, which produced variously substituted 2-arylbenzothiazoles with good functional group tolerance. Thioureas 4a-j were also found to be suitable substrates for the cyclization process using a palladium/O2 catalyst system, thus generating 2-aminobenzothiazoles 5a-j. One-pot syntheses of 2-aminobenzothiazoles 5a-j from aryl isothiocyanates 6 and amines 7 were also successful.
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