Bischler–Möhlau indole synthesis
In spite of its long history, this classical reaction has received relatively little attention in comparison with other methods for indole synthesis, perhaps owing to the harsh reaction conditions that it requires. Recently, milder methods have been developed, including the use of lithium bromide as a catalyst and an improved procedure involving the use of microwave irradiation.
The first two step involve the reaction of the α-bromo-acetophenone with molecules of aniline to form intermediate 4. The charged aniline forms a decent enough leaving group for an electrophilic cyclization to form intermediate 5, which quickly aromatizes and tautomerizes to give the desired indole 7.
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