Aim: Ionic liquids are promising green solvents with simple but unique structure-related physical properties such as negligible vapour pressure, exceptional thermal conductivity, remarkable thermal stability and their suitability and inertness towards a broad range of catalytic applications. CuO NPs have been addressed as a cost-effective and a reagent of a choice that necessitates only mild reaction conditions to offer a high yield of the desired products with exceptional selectivity in a short duration of time. Therefore, in the present work, attempts have been made to explore the catalytic potentials of CuO NPs in an ionic liquid medium to synthesize biologically important bis(indolyl)methanes.
Background: Catalytic explorations of metal oxide nanoparticles in ionic liquids offers a cooperative effect that has a significant impact on the kinetics as well as on the outcome of the reaction. Therefore, such catalytic systems in the present times have seized the scientific community's interest from the perspectives of sustainable development in synthetic organic chemistry. The combination of metal oxide nanoparticles with highly tunable ionic liquids is not only used to synthesize simple organic molecules but also explored in the synthesis of complex organic molecules of high commercial and biological relevance.
Objectives: The current work offers a rapid and robust protocol for synthesizing bis(indolyl)methanes via electrophilic substitution reaction between indole and various aldehydes in the presence of a CuO nanoparticles-ionic liquid system. The discussion focuses on the high tolerance of different functionalities by the catalytic system leading to the synthesis of bis(indolyl)methanes.
Methods: CuO NPs have been synthesized via the co-precipitation method using ionic liquid. The applicability of metal oxide nanoparticles-IL matrix was further investigated in synthesizing bis(indolyl)methanes.
Results: The FT-IR absorption below 600 cm-1 and the XRD pattern showing all the peaks in the diffraction diagram revealed the formation of CuO NPs. FESEM images show the flake-shaped morphology of CuO NPs and are found to be separated from the agglomerated clusters.
Conclusion: Ionic liquid-CuO NPs matrix reveals good to exceptional catalytic properties, and their advancements as a catalytic system at room temperature open new avenues for synthetic organic chemists.