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Keywords:

  • Organocatalysis;
  • Synthetic meth­ods;
  • Heterocycles;
  • Aldehydes;
  • Ketones­

Abstract

In this paper a new phosphorus-free catalyst for the Morita–Baylis–Hillman reaction is disclosed. A bicyclic imidazolyl alcohol having a Lewis basic center associated with a hydrogen-bond donor group was used as catalyst for the reaction. Aliphatic cycloalkanones such as 2-cyclopentenone and 2-cyclohexanone and aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes were used successfully, and the reaction was found to work nicely using water as solvent in the presence of a phase-transfer additive.