We synthesized new Ru-(salen)(CO) complexes of high durability and achieved aziridination with good to excellent enantiosclectivity by using azide compounds that contain an easily removable N-sulfonyl group, such as the 2-(trimethylsilyl)ethancsulfonyl group, as a nitrene precursor. Aziridination of less-reactive α,β-unsaturated esters (and amides) proceeded with excellent enantioselectivities, from which it is inferred that an electrophilic species is the active species of this reaction. The present asymmetric aziridination provides a useful tool for introducing optically active nonprotected amine groups.
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