A family of silica-supported H3PW12O40 (HPW) solid acid catalysts was prepared by wet impregnation of mesoporous SBA-15 and investigated for the solventless synthesis of 3-substituted indoles under mild conditions. Mesoporous SBA-15 facilitated a high dispersion of immobilised H3PW12O40, significantly improving the catalytic efficiency of the heteropolyacid for the desired multi-component transformation. The yield of 3-substituted indoles strongly correlated with HPW loading (which spanned 3.2–51.6 wt %) and corresponding acid strength; the 51.6 wt % HPW/SBA-15 delivered 81% yield of 2-[(1H-indol-3-yl)(phenyl)methyl]malononitrile, approximately five times greater than that of the unsupported HPW, and exhibited a broad substrate scope for aromatic aldehydes.
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- 3-substituted indole
- H PW O