Nickel-Catalyzed Deaminative Cyanation: Nitriles and One-Carbon Homologation from Alkyl Amines
Mary Watson describes the Ni-catalyzed deaminative cyanation of alkyl amines.
A wide range of methods for achieving the cyanation of alkyl halides – which delivers useful alkyl nitrile products – are well established, including several metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. However, the use of low-toxicity sources of cyanide as well as the expansion of the pool of viable substrates to compounds other than alkyl halides (and related molecules) are among the issues that still need to be solved in this fundamental reaction. In particular, nickel-catalyzed cross-couplings of alkyl halides with less toxic cyanide sources formed much of the inspiration for the methodology developed in this paper from Professor Mary Watson at the University of Delaware (USA). This new method offers an alternative class of starting materials, alkyl amines, to access highly valuable nitrile products.