Novel synthetic routes to the commonly encountered indole motif are highly sought after. Tetrahydro-1H
-indoles were synthesized for the first time from secondary alcohols and 2-aminocyclohexanol in the presence of a well-established iridium catalyst using a modified synthetic procedure recently developed for the synthesis of hydrocarbazoles. The catalyst is stabilized by an inexpensive and easy-to-synthesize triazine based PN5
P pincer ligand. The reaction proceeds through acceptorless dehydrogenative condensation (ADC) and yields the title compound, dihydrogen, and water and can thus be classified as sustainable synthesis. Overall, five examples, three of which were previously unknown compounds, were prepared. The propitious isolated yields and the mild reaction conditions show the synthetic value of this approach. These tetrahydroindoles can be quantitatively dehydrogenated over a heterogeneous Pd catalyst to yield the corresponding indoles.
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