An environmentally friendly method for synthesis of amides is presented where a simple ruthenium catalyst mediates the direct coupling between an alcohol and an amine with the liberation of two molecules of dihydrogen. The active catalyst is generated in situ from an easily available ruthenium complex, an N-heterocyclic carbene and a phosphine. The reaction allows primary alcohols to be coupled with primary alkylamines to afford the corresponding secondary amides in good yields. The amide formation presumably proceeds through a catalytic cycle where the intermediate aldehyde and hemiaminal are both coordinated to the metal catalyst.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry