Synthesis of (E)-2-(1-ferrocenylmethylidene)malonic acid derivatives by a cobalt-catalyzed domino reaction of ethyl diazoacetate, carbon monoxide and ferrocenylimines

János Balogh, Tamás Kégl, László Párkányi, László Kollár, Ferenc Ungváry, Rita Skoda-Földes

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The domino reaction of ethyl diazoacetate, carbon monoxide and ferrocenylimines was investigated in the presence of Co2(CO) 8 as catalyst. In most cases the main products are 2-(1-ferrocenylmethylidene) malonates formed by an N(1)-C(4) cleavage of the primarily derived β-lactams. The latter compounds could only be isolated when the reaction was carried out at relatively low CO pressure, using an excess of ethyl diazoacetate. trans-N-(tert-Butyl)-3-ethoxycarbonyl-4-ferrocenyl- β-lactam proved to be the most stable one among these compounds and could be isolated in 55% yield. N-alkyl β-lactams were shown to undergo acidic cleavage leading to the E isomers of 2-(1-ferrocenylmethylidene) malonates as the main products. The structures of the two new compounds, (E)-2- ethoxycarbonyl-3-ferrocenyl-N-((R)-1-phenylethyl)-2-propenamide and trans-N-(tert-butyl)-3-ethoxycarbonyl-4-ferrocenyl-β-lactam were confirmed by X-ray crystallography. The relative thermodynamical stability of the products as well as the energetics of the acid-mediated cleavage of the β-lactam ring was elucidated with DFT calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1403
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Carbonylation
  • Cobalt-catalysis
  • Domino reactions
  • β-Lactams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

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