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Nature of the Radical Intermediates in a Substituted Cyclopropylcarbinyl--Allylcarbinyl System


Halgren, Thomas Arthur (1968) Nature of the Radical Intermediates in a Substituted Cyclopropylcarbinyl--Allylcarbinyl System. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/a5tm-n775.


We have sought to determine the nature of the free-radical precursors to ring-opened hydrocarbon 5 and ring-closed hydrocarbon 6. Reasonable alternative formulations involve the postulation of hydrogen abstraction (a) by a pair of rapidly equilibrating classical radicals (the ring-opened allylcarbinyl-type radical 3 and the ring-closed cyclopropylcarbinyl-type 4), or (b) by a nonclassical radical such as homoallylic radical 7.

[Figure not reproduced.]

Entry to the radical system is gained via degassed thermal decomposition of peresters having the ring-opened and the ring-closed structures. The ratio of 6:5 is essentially independent of the hydrogen donor concentration for decomposition of the former at 125° in the presence of triethyltin hydrdride. A deuterium labeling study showed that the α and β methylene groups in 3 (or the equivalent) are rapidly interchanged under these conditions.

Existence of two (or more) product-forming intermediates is indicated (a) by dependence of the ratio 6:5 on the tin hydride concentration for decomposition of the ring-closed perester at 10 and 35°, and (b) by formation of cage products having largely or wholly the structure (ring-opened or ring-closed) of the starting perester.

Relative rates of hydrogen abstraction by 3 could be inferred by comparison of ratios of rate constants for hydrogen abstraction and ortho-ring cyclization:

[Figure not reproduced.]

At 100° values of ka/kr are 0.14 for hydrogen abstraction from 1,4-cyclohexadiene and 7 for abstraction from triethyltin hydride. The ratio 6:5 at the same temperature is ~0.0035 for hydrogen abstraction from 1,4-cyclohexadiene, ~0.078 for abstraction from the tin hydride, and ≥ 5 for abstraction from cyclohexadienyl radicals. These data indicate that abstraction of hydrogen from triethyltin hydride is more rapid than from 1,4-cyclohexadiene by a factor of ~1000 for 4, but only ~50 for 3.

Measurements of product ratios at several temperatures allowed the construction of an approximate energy-level scheme. A major inference is that isomerization of 3 to 4 is exothermic by 8 ± 3 kcal/mole, in good agreement with expectations based on bond dissociation energies. Absolute rate-constant estimates are also given.

The results are nicely compatible with a classical-radical mechanism, but attempted interpretation in terms of a nonclassical radical precursor of product ratios formed even from equilibrated radical intermediates leads, it is argued, to serious difficulties.

The roles played by hydrogen abstraction from 1,4,-cyclohexadiene and from the derived cyclohexadienyl radicals were probed by fitting observed ratios of 6:5 and 5:10 in the sense of least-squares to expressions derived for a complex mechanistic scheme. Some 30 to 40 measurements on each product ratio, obtained under a variety of experimental conditions, could be fit with an average deviation of ~6%. Significant systematic deviations were found, but these could largely be redressed by assuming (a) that the rate constant for reaction of 4 with cyclohexadienyl radical is inversely proportional to the viscosity of the medium (i.e., is diffusion-controlled), and (b) that ka/kr for hydrogen abstraction from 1,4-cyclohexadiene depends slightly on the composition of the medium. An average deviation of 4.4% was thereby attained.

Degassed thermal decomposition of the ring-opened perester in the presence of the triethyltin hydride occurs primarily by attack on perester of triethyltin radicals, presumably at the –O-O- bond, even at 0.01 M tin hydride at 100 and 125°. Tin ester and tin ether are apparently formed in closely similar amounts under these conditions, but the tin ester predominates at room temperature in the companion air-induced decomposition, indicating that attack on perester to give the tin ether requires an activation energy approximately 5 kcal/mole in excess of that for the formation of tin ester.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Chemistry)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Roberts, John D.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:2 February 1968
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:12142015-100545207
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9323
Deposited On:18 Dec 2015 23:21
Last Modified:02 Apr 2024 17:58

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