N-heterocyclic carbenes derived from triazolium salts are effective catalysts between 10 and 15 mol % for the hydroacylation of activated ketones. The reducing equivalent is generated via the interaction of a nucleophilic carbene species and an aromatic aldehyde. The subsequent alcohol product can undergo an acylation event with the resulting acyl heteroazolium intermediate formed in situ between the NHC and the aldehyde. This unprecedented multiple bond-forming reaction can accommodate aromatic aldehydes as the hydride source and various electron-deficient ketones. Preliminary mechanistic evidence indicates that the reduction and acylation steps are sequential operations. The intramolecular variant of this organocatalytic reaction affords benzofuranones in good yield.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry