3 years ago

Photochemically Switching Diamidocarbene Spin States Leads to Reversible Büchner Ring Expansions

Photochemically Switching Diamidocarbene Spin States Leads to Reversible Büchner Ring Expansions
Tharushi A. Perera, Todd W. Hudnall, Eric W. Reinheimer
The discovery of thermal and photochemical control by Woodward and Hoffmann revolutionized how we understand chemical reactivity. Similarly, we now describe the first example of a carbene that exhibits differing thermal and photochemical reactivity. When a singlet ground-state N,N′-diamidocarbene 1 was photolyzed at 380 nm, excitation to a triplet state was observed. The triplet-state electronic structure was characteristic of the expected biradical σ1pπ1 spin configuration according to a combination of spectroscopic and computational methods. Surprisingly, the triplet state of 1 was found to engage a series of arenes in thermally reversible Büchner ring expansion reactions, marking the first examples where both cyclopropanation and ring expansion of arenes were rendered reversible. Not only are these photochemical reactions different from the known thermal chemistry of 1, but the reversibility enabled us to perform the first examples of photochemically induced arene exchange/expansion reactions at a single carbon center.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b09264

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b09264

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