Rapid synthesis of fused N-heterocycles by transition-metal-free electrophilic amination of arene C-H bonds

Hongyin Gao, Qing Long Xu, Muhammed Yousufuddin, Daniel H. Ess, Lászlõ Kürti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2701-2705
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 3 2014



  • carbazoles
  • electrophilic amination
  • N-heterocycles
  • nitrobiaryls
  • regioselectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Catalysis

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