Research Article

MOF-derived cobalt nanoparticles catalyze a general synthesis of amines

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Science  21 Sep 2017:
eaan6245
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan6245

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Abstract

The development of base metal catalysts for the synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant compounds remains an important goal of chemical research. Here, we report that cobalt nanoparticles encapsulated by a graphitic shell are broadly effective reductive amination catalysts. Their convenient and practical preparation entailed template assembly of cobalt-diamine-dicarboxylic acid metal organic frameworks on carbon and subsequent pyrolysis under inert atmosphere. The resulting stable and reusable catalysts were active for synthesis of primary, secondary, tertiary and N-methylamines (>140 examples). The reaction couples easily accessible carbonyl compounds (aldehydes, ketones) with ammonia, amines or nitro compounds and molecular hydrogen under industrially viable and scalable conditions, offering cost-effective access to numerous amines, amino acid derivatives, and more complex drug targets.

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