Ruthenium-Catalyzed Redox-Neutral and Single-Step Amide Synthesis from Alcohol and Nitrile with Complete Atom Economy

A completely atom-economical and redox-neutral catalytic amide synthesis from an alcohol and a nitrile is realized. The amide C–N bond is efficiently formed between the nitrogen atom of nitrile and the α-carbon of alcohol, with the help of an N-heterocyclic carbene-based ruthenium catalyst, without a single byproduct. A utility of the reaction was demonstrated by synthesizing <sup>13</sup>C or <sup>15</sup>N isotope-labeled amides without involvement of any separate reduction and oxidation step.