The synthesis of a bifunctional copper metal organic framework and its application in the aerobic oxidation/Knoevenagel condensation sequential reaction†
A novel one-pot aerobic oxidation/Knoevenagel condensation reaction system was developed employing a Cu(II)/amine bifunctional, basic metal–organic framework (MOF) as the catalyst. The sequential aerobic alcohol oxidation/Knoevenagel condensation reaction was efficiently promoted by the Cu3TATAT MOF catalyst in the absence of basic additives. The benzylidenemalononitrile product was produced in high yield and selectivity from an inexpensive benzyl alcohol starting material under an oxygen atmosphere. The role of the basic functionality was studied to demonstrate its role in the aerobic oxidation and Knoevenagel condensation reactions. The reaction progress was monitored in order to identify the reaction intermediate and follow the accumulation of the desired product. Lastly, results showed that the yield was not significantly compromised by the reuse of a batch of catalyst, even after more than five cycles.