Nitrogen-containing compounds, especially primary amines, are vital building blocks in nature and industry. Herein, a protocol is developed that shows in situ formed N-formyl quasi-catalytic species afford highly selective synthesis of formamides or amines with controllable levels from a variety of aldehyde- and ketone-derived platform chemical substrates under solvent-free conditions. Up to 99% yields of mono-substituted formamides are obtained in 3 min. The C-N bond formation and N-formyl species are prevalent in the cascade reaction sequence. Kinetic and isotope labeling experiments explicitly demonstrate that the C-N bond is activated for subsequent hydrogenation, in which formic acid acts as acid catalyst, hydrogen donor and as N-formyl species source that stabilize amine intermediates elucidated with density functional theory. The protocol provides access to imides from aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, and mixed-substrates, requires no special catalysts, solvents or techniques and provides new avenues for amination chemistry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)