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One-Pot Gold-Catalyzed Synthesis of Azepino[1,2-a]indoles


  • Acknowledgements are made to the Progetto FIRB “Futuro in Ricerca” Innovative sustainable synthetic methodologies for C-H activation processes, (MIUR, Rome) and the Università di Bologna. For support of the work in St. Andrews, the ERC (Advanced Researcher Award FUNCAT to S.P.N.) and the EPSRC are gratefully acknowledged. We also thank Prof. M. Monari for the X-ray analysis of 4 a. S.P.N. is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder.


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Indoles from scratch: A gold(I)/N-heterocyclic carbene complex (IPr=1,3-di(isopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene) was found to be particularly effective as a catalyst, enabling the one-pot synthesis of tricyclic azepinoindoles by an unprecedented cascade reaction. Readily available substrates, high chemoselectivity, good yields, and water as the only stoichiometric by-product are some of the main advantages of this method.