Solvent-controlled selective transformation of 2-Bromomethyl-2-methylaziridines to functionalized aziridines and azetidines

S. Stankovic, H. Goossens, S. Catak, M. Tezcan, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, M. D'Hooghe, N. De Kimpe
Journal of Organic Chemistry
77, 3181-3190


The reactivity of 2-bromomethyl-2-methylaziridines toward oxygen, sulfur, and carbon nucleophiles in different solvent systems was investigated. Remarkably, the choice of the solvent has a profound influence on the reaction outcome, enabling the selective formation of either functionalized aziridines in dimethylformamide (through direct bromide displacement) or azetidines in acetonitrile (through rearrangement via a bicyclic aziridinium intermediate). In addition, the experimentally observed solvent-dependent behavior of 2-bromomethyl-2-methylaziridines was further supported by means of DFT calculations.

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