Go with the flow: 4-Hydroxycyclobutenones were efficiently transformed into 5H-furanones using an inexpensive flow-photochemical setup. The results challenge the notion that this and the related thermochemical rearrangement display torquoselectivity in their electrocyclic opening to a vinylketene intermediate. Selectivity in the photochemical rearrangement is due a dichotomous reactivity of the (E)- and (Z)-vinylketene intermediates (see scheme).
- density functional calculations
- small ring systems
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