Synthesis of 3,3-disubstituted oxindoles by one-pot integrated Brønsted base-catalyzed trichloroacetimidation of 3-hydroxyoxindoles and Brønsted acid-catalyzed nucleophilic substitution reaction
Treatment of 3-hydroxyoxindoles with trichloroacetonitrile (1.3 equiv.) and a catalytic amount of DBU (0.1 equiv.) followed by addition of nucleophiles (1.5 equiv.) and diphenylphosphoric acid (0.2 equiv.) afforded the 3,3-disubstituted oxindoles in good to excellent yields. DFT computations supported the notion that the reaction went through the 1-alkyl-2-oxo-2H-indol-1-ium intermediate.