A distinct approach for the synthesis of α-aminonitriles has been discovered by three-component reaction of nitroarenes, aldehydes, and TMSCN using indium in dilute aqueous HCl at room temperature. The products were formed in high yields (86-96%) within a short period of time (5-20 min). This one-pot conversion consists of the following steps: (i) reduction of nitro compounds to amines, (ii) formation of imines from amines and aldehydes and (iii) addition of cyanide anion to the imines. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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