Chemistry - A European Journal
2017 (23), 1-9
The reactivity of 3-oxo-β-lactams with respect to primary amines was investigated in depth. Depending on the specific azetidin-2-one C4 substituent, this reaction was shown to selectively produce 3-imino-β-lactams (through dehydration), α-aminoamides (through CO elimination) or ethanediamides (through an unprecedented C3-C4 ring opening). In addition to the experimental results, the mechanisms and factors governing these peculiar transformations were also examined and elucidated by means of density functional theory calculations.