Palladium-catalyzed tandem addition/cyclization in aqueous medium: synthesis of 2-arylindoles
An efficient protocol to construct 2-arylindoles was developed through palladium-catalyzed tandem addition/cyclization of potassium aryltrifluoroborates with aliphatic nitriles in aqueous medium. The use of water as the reaction medium makes the synthesis process environmentally benign. A plausible mechanism for the formation of 2-arylindoles involving sequential nucleophilic addition followed by an intramolecular cyclization is proposed. Moreover, the utility of this catalytic tandem transformation was also demonstrated in an efficient gram-scale synthesis. This method provides an alternative synthetic tool for accessing a more diverse array of 2-arylindoles.