Infoscience

Journal article

N-formylation and N-methylation of amines using metal-free N-heterocyclic carbene catalysts and CO2 as carbon source

N-formylation and N-methylation of amines are important reactions that are used to produce a wide range of key intermediates and compounds. This protocol describes the environmentally benign N-formylation and N-methylation of primary and secondary amines using carbon dioxide (CO2) as the carbon source, hydrosilanes as reductants and N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) as catalysts. Using CO2 as a reagent has the advantage of low cost and negligible toxicity. However, the catalyst is air-sensitive and must be generated fresh before use; consequently, the techniques used to prepare and manipulate the catalyst are described. The synthetic approach described in this protocol does not use any toxic reagents; using the appropriate catalyst, N-formylated or N-methylated products can be obtained with high selectivity. The overall time for catalyst preparation and for conducting several catalytic reactions in parallel is 15-48 h, depending on the nature of the substrates.

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