In a research work developed at the ITQ and recently published in JACS Au, a new tandem catalytic process has been established to synthesize benzimidazoles…

Molybdenum disulfide-based materials display a lamellar structure in which the catalytically active sites are mainly located at the edges whereas the basal planes are largely inert. In the work published in JACS Au, an innovative synthetic strategy that employs molecular clusters as precursors has been used to engineer a molybdenum sulfide material displaying structural defects (i.e. active sites) on both the naturally occurring edge positions and along the typically inactive basal planes. This material has been applied as a catalyst for the development of the first catalytic process designed to prepare benzimidazoles by reductive coupling of dinitroarenes with aldehydes using molecular hydrogen, thus enabling their synthesis through a more environmentally benign way than the synthetic processes reported to date. After properly optimizing the reaction conditions, a wide variety of functionalized benzimidazoles have been achieved, including Diabazole and Fuberidazole, which are bioactive compounds widely used in the in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries, respectively.

Molecularly Engineering Defective Basal Planes in Molybdenum Sulfide for the Direct Synthesis of Benzimidazoles by Reductive Coupling of Dinitroarenes with Aldehydes

Miriam Rodenes, Francisco Gonell, Santiago Martín, Avelino Corma*, and Iván Sorribes*