Background: Metal nanoparticles have been extensively used in the synthesis of organic
molecules during the last few decades especially due to their high catalytic activity. Organic reactions
involving C-H functionalisations are very much in demand as they provide a direct method
of derivatisation of organic molecules, thus making the process economical. In recent years,
metal nanoparticles catalysed C-H activation reactions have led to the design of useful molecules
especially heterocyclic motifs which form the core structure of drugs and thus have high biological
and industrial importance.
Methods: In this review, we present a collection of reactions where metal nanoparticles are instrumental
in the synthesis and functionalization of heterocycles via C-H activation. The review consists
of three units namely, Nano-copper catalysed C-H activation reactions, nano-palladium
catalysed C-H activation reactions and other nano-metals catalysed C-H activation reactions.
Results: The discussion reflects the scope of nano-metals as effective catalysts for the synthesis
and functionalization of heterocycles as well as the efficiency of nano-metals towards catalysing
economic and environmentally viable reaction protocols.
Conclusion: The theme of this review is to correlate nanometal catalysis, heterocyclic synthesis and
C-H activation, each of which in itself forms an integral part of modern day chemical research.
Thus, the review will hopefully highlight the need for future development and research in this
area and be instrumental in guiding researchers towards fulfilling that goal.