Computational Studies of the Formation of Imidazo[1,2-α]Pyridines Catalyzed by a Copper-Based Metal-Organic Framework
The purpose of this project is to corroborate a plausible reaction mechanism that was proposed for the synthesis of imidazo[1,2-α]pyridines catalyzed by the Cu(BDC) (BDC = 1,4-benzenedicarboxylate) metal-organic framework (MOF) by generating approximate reaction profiles for the uncatalyzed and catalyzed reaction pathways. Geometry optimization calculations for the intermediates were performed using the B3LYP functional, 6-311G** (H, C, N, O atoms) basis set, and the LANL2TZ(f) (Cu atoms) effective core potential (ECP) and basis set combination. The energy differences of the intermediates were calculated, with and without the presence of the catalyst, and relative energy diagrams were generated. The presence of the MOF catalyst lowered the relative energies of key intermediates in the reaction pathway by a substantial amount. The stabilization of these key intermediates approximately quantifies the viability of the reaction pathway in the proposed mechanism.