We disclose an efficient and operationally simple protocol for the preparation of fused N-heterocycles starting from readily available 2-nitrobiaryls and PhMgBr under mild conditions. More than two dozen N-heterocycles, including two bioactive natural products, have been synthesized using this method. A stepwise electrophilic aromatic cyclization mechanism was proposed by DFT calculations. Controlled fusion: A transition-metal-free, low-temperature, and regioselective intramolecular amination of aromatic C(sp2)-H bonds provides fused N-heterocycles. This reaction is operationally simple and scalable (1-10 mmol) and the scope of substrates is wide (see scheme). Density functional calculations indicate that a stepwise electrophilic aromatic cyclization mechanism may be operative.
- electrophilic amination
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