The development of transition metal heterogeneous catalysts for economical and effective synthesis of N-methylamine, especially for the mono-methylation of amines is still challenging. Herein, two unprecedented Rh-supported COFs heterogeneous catalysts Rh/MelCOF was facile synthesized by Schiff base reaction using melamine as a precursor, and for the first time, it was successfully applied to the effective and high selective tandem reaction of transfer hydrogenation and mono-methylation of nitroaromatic hydrocarbons with methanol as C1 and hydrogenation source, with water as the only by-product. A series of nitroaromatic hydrocarbons, including heterocyclic or sterically hindered derivatives, can be well tolerated and the catalyst could also be reused 4 times without losing significant reactivity. At the same time, the study of the Rh/MelCOF mechanism supports the hydrogen borrowing mechanism and puts forward the reaction pathway of azobenzene as an intermediate, which is better than the hydrogen transfer pathway from N-phenylhydroxylamine to aniline directly. This work not only expands the COF family but also provides an effective way to obtain mono N-methylated amines from nitroaromatic hydrocarbons, as well as the detailed mechanism of Rh/COF catalyzed tandem transfer hydrogenation and mono-methylation of amines.
Facile synthesis of novel heterogenous Rh/COF catalyst and its application in tandem selective transfer hydrogenation and mono-methylation of Nitro compounds with Methanol