N-Alkylation of Imidazoles with Dialkyl and Alkylene Carbonates


The reactions of imidazoles with a series of dialkyl and alkylene carbonates afforded the corresponding N-alkyl- and N-(hydroxyalkyl)imidazoles with high yields. The reactivity of dialkyl carbonates decreases in the series dimethyl > diethyl > dibutyl carbonate. Ethylene carbonate is a more efficient alkylating agent than trimethylene carbonate. The mechanisms of alkylation of imidazole with dimethyl carbonate and ethylene carbonate were studied by DFT quantum chemical calculations at the B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) level of theory.

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This study was performed using the facilities of the “Spectroscopy and Analysis of Organic Compounds” joint center. Quantum chemical calculations were performed using Uran supercomputer at the Krasovskii Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.


This study was performed in the framework of state assignment for Postovsky Institute of Organic Synthesis (Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences), as well as under financial support by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (project no. AAAA-A20-120061990010-7).

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Correspondence to A. V. Pestov.

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Gabov, I.S., Khamidullina, L.A., Puzyrev, I.S. et al. N-Alkylation of Imidazoles with Dialkyl and Alkylene Carbonates. Russ J Org Chem 56, 2079–2086 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1070428020120052

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  • dialkyl carbonates
  • alkylene carbonates
  • imidazoles
  • alkylation