A fast and convenient synthesis of aryl amidines starting from carboxylic acids and cyanamides is reported. The reaction was achieved by palladium(II)-catalysis in a one-step microwave protocol using [Pd(O2 CCF3 )2 ], 6-methyl-2,2'-bipyridyl and trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) in N-methylpyrrolidinone (NMP), providing the corresponding aryl amidines in moderate to excellent yields. The protocol is very robust with regards to the cyanamide coupling partner but requires electron-rich ortho-substituted aryl carboxylic acids. Mechanistic insight was provided by a DFT investigation and direct ESI-MS studies of the reaction. The results of the DFT study correlated well with the experimental findings and, together with the ESI-MS study, support the suggested mechanism. Furthermore, a scale-out (scale-up) was performed with a non-resonant microwave continuous-flow system, achieving a maximum throughput of 11 mmol h(-1) by using a glass reactor with an inner diameter of 3 mm at a flow rate of 1 mL min(-1) .
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