Laser flash photolysis studies of the formation and reactivities of phenyl(naphthyl)methyl carbocations generated from phosphonium salt precursors

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1139/v92-223
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TypeArticle
Journal titleCanadian Journal of Chemistry
Volume70
Issue6
Pages17841794; # of pages: 11
AbstractThe photolysis of several substituted phenyl(naphthyl)methyl triphenylphosphonium chlorides has been examined using a combination of laser flash photolysis experiments and product studies. Both carbocation and radical intermediates have been characterized in the transient experiments, with the relative yields depending strongly on the solvent. For example, in alcohols, acetonitrile, or aqueous solvents cation formation predominates while acetonitrile/dioxane mixtures (5–10%) are required for the observation of radicals. Quantum yields for cation formation vary from 0.79 in methanol to 0.093 in 1:4 acetonitrile/dioxane, as measured by product studies and transient experiments, respectively. The addition of perchlorate salts leads to dramatic enhancements in the cation lifetimes; the effects are particularly pronounced for acetonitrile/dioxane mixtures where the cation yields also increase by factors of 3–4. In this case the effects are attributed primarily to replacement of chloride by perchlorate in the initial ion pairs. The combined data from both solvent and perchlorate salt effects on the cation lifetimes and yields suggest that the excited state of the phosphonium salt cleaves homolytically, followed by electron transfer within the initial radical/triphenylphosphine radical cation pair to generate carbocation, as opposed to direct heterolytic cleavage. The cation yields also indicate that back reaction to regenerate starting material, as well as product formation within the initial geminate cage, occur in some solvents. The effects of solvent and added perchlorate salts on the rate constants for reaction with nucleophiles have been examined. For example, rate constants that vary by an order of magnitude have been measured for quenching by azide ion in various aqueous acetonitrile and trifluoroethanol mixtures.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number33302
NPARC number12327851
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Record identifier629c376f-a8fc-4557-86dd-a7d4455a8038
Record created2009-09-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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