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Functionalised diimidazolium salts: The anion effect on the catalytic ability


The catalytic ability of some functionalised diimidazolium ionic liquids was tested using the Michael addition of malononitrile to t-chalcone as probe reaction. Diimidazolium salts characterized by the presence of 1-(1-imidazolylmethyl)-3,5-di-[1-(3-octylimidazolylmethyl)]benzene cation and differing in the anion structure were used. Both mono- and dianions were employed and among these some chiral anions generally used as organocatalysts were taken into account. Data collected were analysed both as function of ionic liquids structure and basicity, evaluated using the Hammett basicity function. Although the use of chiral anions did not allow performing a stereochemical control of the reaction, data collected demonstrate the high catalytic ability of the functionalised salts. Indeed, high conversions and yields were obtained under mild conditions and in significantly shorter reaction times with respect to the ones so far reported for this reaction.