Reaction generality is crucial in determining the overall impact and usefulness of synthetic methods. Typical generalization protocols require a priori mechanistic understanding and suffer when applied to complex, less understood systems. We developed an additive mapping approach that rapidly expands the utility of synthetic methods while generating concurrent mechanistic insight. Validation of this approach on the metallaphotoredox decarboxylative arylation resulted in the discovery of a phthalimide ligand additive that overcomes many lingering limitations of this reaction and has important mechanistic implications for nickel-catalyzed cross-couplings.
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