A convenient and efficient synthesis of alpha-aryl nitriles was developed by direct cyanation of alcohols with TMSCN under the catalysis of Lewis acid. Using 5-10 mol % of InBr3 as the catalyst, a variety of benzylic alcohols can be converted to the corresponding nitriles in 5-30 min with yields of 46-99%.
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The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18808133