Organic Synthesis

2-Carboxylated aza-rings have been synthesized in two steps through a highly selective monohalogenation of N-sulfonylated lactams of various ring sizes (from 5- to 8-membered rings). The selective monohalogenation of N-sulfonyl lactams has been achieved in modest to excellent yields (9 examples, 39-96%) using N-halogenosuccinimides via the in situ generation of trimethylsilyl ketene aminal derivatives. The so-obtained α-halogeno N-sulfonyl lactams were engaged in a ring opening/ring closing reaction in the presence of various alcohols or anilines under basic conditions affording 2-carboxylated aza-rings, such as azetidine, pyrrolidine or piperidine derivatives in high yields (19 examples, 19-99%).