Metal–organic frameworks as solid catalysts for the synthesis of nitrogen-containing heterocycles
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are finding increasing application as solid catalysts for liquid phase reactions leading to the synthesis of fine chemicals. In the present review we have focused on those reports describing the use of MOFs as catalysts for the synthesis of N-containing heterocycles that is a class of organic compounds with high added value due to their therapeutic use as drugs and their remarkable biological activities. After an introduction describing relevant structural features of MOFs and the nature of their active sites, this manuscript is organized according to the type of N-containing heterocycle synthesized employing MOFs as catalysts including pyrimidines, N-substituted piperidines, quinolines, indoles, N-substituted imidazoles, triazoles and heterocyclic amides. Special attention has been paid to the structural stability of MOFs under the reaction conditions, to the occurrence of metal leaching and reusability. The final section of this review provides some concluding remarks and future prospects for the field, with emphasis on showing the superiority of MOFs with respect to other solid catalysts for this type of liquid phase organic reactions and pointing out that the final goal in this research would be the use of these materials as catalysts in real industrial synthesis.