Selectivity control during the solid supported protic acids catalysed synthesis of 1,2-disubstituted benzimidazoles and mechanistic insight to rationalize selectivity†
Selectivity control during the formation of 1,2-disubstituted benzimidazoles has been achieved for the reaction of o-phenylenediamine with aldehydes in the presence of solid supported protic acids as catalysts and choosing an appropriate reaction medium. Perchloric acid adsorbed on silica-gel (HClO4–SiO2) was found to be the most effective catalyst system for the synthesis of 1,2-disubstituted benzimidazoles in EtOH at rt. Apart from the catalyst and solvent, the electronic and steric factors of the aldehyde and the electronic factor of the o-phenylenediamine are also significant contributory factors in dictating the selectivity. An understanding of the mechanistic course of the formation of the 1,2-disubstituted benzimidazoles has been outlined that would rationalise the origin of selectivity control under the set experimental parameters.