o-Phenylene halocarbenonitrenes and o-phenylene chlorocarbenocarbene: A combined experimental and computational approach
Nicolaïdes, Andrew N.
SourceJournal of Organic Chemistry
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Computations find that o-phenylene(halo)carbenonitrenes 2-XN, X = F, Cl, Br, have quinoidal singlet biradical ground states such as the parent o-phenylenecarbenonitrene (2-HN). Compared to the parent 2-HN, halogen substitution stabilizes the A″ states relative to the A′ ones. Halogen substitution also affects the barrier and exothermicity of the ring-opening reaction (to form unsaturated nitriles 4-XN, X = F, Cl, Br), but it has a smaller effect on the ring-closing reaction (to form benzo(aza) cyclobutadiene 3-XN, X = F, Cl, Br). Attempts to generate and observe the o-phenylene(halo)carbenonitrenes 2-XN, X = F, Cl, Br, using matrix isolation spectroscopy under conditions similar to those of the successful observation of 2-HN failed. Instead, the observed photoproducts were a mixture of 3-XN and 4-XN. In each case, the major product of the mixture appears to be the thermodynamically more stable one. In the case of X = Br, the observed mixture contains an additional component that is postulated to be Z-6-BrN. o-Phenylenechlorocarbenocarbene is also computed to have a quinoidal singlet biradical ground state and relatively stabilized A″ excited states. Attempts to generate the biscarbene under matrix isolation conditions led to the detection of benzochlorocyclobutadiene (3-ClC), small amounts of the ring-open product (dienediyne 4-ClC), and cycloalkyne 5-ClC. Computations suggest that the formation of 5-ClC implies the generation of Z-6-ClC, which is analogous to the formation of Z-6-BrN from 2-BrN. © 2005 American Chemical Society.
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