Photochemistry of an azido-functionalized cryptand: Controlling the reactivity of an extremely long-lived singlet aryl nitrene by complexation to alkali cations
Nicolaïdes, Andrew N.
SourceJournal of the American Chemical Society
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Photolysis of the cryptand 1, bearing an intraannular azido substituent, results in a complex photochemistry. Low-temperature photolysis yields the triplet nitrene 32, which has been characterized by EPR spectroscopy. Small differences in ZFS parameters are detected between the uncomplexed nitrene-functionalized ligand (in EtOH: D′ = 0.93 cm-1) and its sodium (NaBr@32 in EtOH: D′ = 0.88 cm-1) and potassium (KBr@32 in MTHF: D′ = 0.89 cm-1) complexes. If the photolysis of the free ligand is conducted at ambient temperature, a derivative of o-aminobenzaldehyde 4 is found to be the main product, which is formed by reaction of the o-iminoquinone methide 9 with water. The latter can be detected by UV/vis spectroscopy. Its lifetime is τ = 254 s in acetonitrile solution at ambient temperature. In the presence of diethylamine, the methyleneazepine derivative 5 is formed, which is indicative of didehydroazepine formation (7). Room-temperature photolysis of acetonitrile solutions of the sodium or potassium complexes also results in formation of the o-aminobenzaldehyde derivative. In the presence of diethylamine, however, no methyleneazepine 5 is found. Formation of the aniline derivative 8 instead points to free radical processes. Laser flash photolysis (LFP) of acetonitrile solutions of 1 leads to the detection of a short-lived (τ = 1.4 μs, λmax = 445 nm plus weak absorption at λ > 500 nm) intermediate A, which decays to transient B (τ = 8 ms, λ max = 295 and ca. 350-400 nm). LFP of acetonitrile solutions of complexes NaBr@1 and KBr@1 gives similar transient spectra. In the presence of sodium and potassium cations, the lifetime of the short-lived transient A is reduced (Na+: A′, τ = 200 nsK+: A″, τ = 160 ns). Transients A′ and A″ decay to long-lived transients B′ + C′ (B″ + C″). Based on the results of our product studies, a comparison with the low-temperature results, and quantum mechanical calculations, the transients A, A′, and A″ are identified as singlet nitrenes 12, NaBr@12, and KBr@12, while the long-lived transients B, B′, and B″ are assigned to didehydroazepines 7, NaBr@7, and KBr@7. Transients C′ and C″ can be assigned to aminyl radicals NaBr@16 and KBr@16. © 2005 American Chemical Society.
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