Computational study of Ru-catalyzed cycloisomerization of 2-alkynylanilides

  • Xinghui Zhang
  • Shanshan Li
  • Xiaoli Wei
  • Yun Lei
Original Paper


The reaction mechanism of Ru-catalyzed cycloisomerization of 2-alkynylanilides to 3-substituted indole or 2-substituted indole was analyzed at the B3LYP level of density functional theory. The solvation effect of the system was also considered by SMD model. The calculation results show that the reaction system first forms a ruthenium π-alkyne complex. On the one hand, the cyclization reaction of the amino group and the alkyne carbon in the reaction precursor complex directly forms the 2-substituted indole product. On the other hand, the benzene ring in the reaction complex undergoes 1,2-carbon migration on the C≡C triple bond to form the vinylidene complex. After cyclization and hydrogen transfer, the catalyst is regenerated to obtain 3-substituted indole product. The latter reaction process has relatively lower activation free energy and is also the main reaction channel for this reaction, which is consistent with published experimental results. This study provides a reasonable reaction mechanism and effective experimental supplement.


Ruthenium-catalyzed 2-alkynylanilides Cycloisomerization Density functional theory 



This work was supported by Longyuan young creative talents to support projects, Gansu Province (2014-98). The authors are grateful to the reviewers for their invaluable suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinghui Zhang
    • 1
  • Shanshan Li
    • 1
  • Xiaoli Wei
    • 1
  • Yun Lei
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Chemical EngineeringLanzhou University of Arts and ScienceLanzhouChina

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