A new series of water-soluble Ir complexes with N-heterocyclic carbene ligands that bear ester and amide groups has been obtained and fully characterized. The new complexes are highly reactive and selective for the alkylation of amines with alcohols with a 1:1 ratio of reactants in water and in the absence of base or other additives. The catalytic system has a broad substrate scope, which allows the synthesis of a variety of primary and secondary amines in excellent yields. A tolerance to a large range of functional groups was obtained.
- homogeneous catalysis