A new synthetic route leading to 2-methyleneaziridines has been developed by base-induced 1,2-dehydrobromination of 2-(bromomethyl)aziridines. Several base-solvent pairs did not lead to 2-methyleneaziridines. Only potassium tert-butoxide in tetrahydrofuran afforded 2-methyleneaziridines in competition with the substitution products, i.e. 2-(tert-butoxymethyl)aziridines. Various attempted functionalizations of 1-(arylmethyl)-2-methyleneaziridines failed, but they proved to be excellent substrates for the synthesis of β-lactam derivatives, i.e. 1-(arylmethyl)-2-iminoazetidines, through ring expansion with azides carrying electron-withdrawing substituents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry