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1,2-Diazacyclopentane-3,5-diyl Diradicals: Electronic Structure and Reactivity

Yoshidomi, Shohei, Abe, Manabu
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2019 v.141 no.9 pp. 3920-3933
homolytic cleavage, photolysis, solvents, temperature
Localized singlet diradicals are key intermediates in bond homolysis. A thorough study of the reactive species is needed to clarify the mechanisms of the homolytic bond cleavage and formation processes. In general, the singlet diradicals are quite short-lived because of the fast radical–radical coupling reactions. The short-lived characteristic has retarded the thorough study on bond homolysis. In this study, a new series of long-lived singlet diradicals, viz., 1,2-diazacyclopentane-3,5-diyl, were identified, and their electronic structures and novel reactivities were thoroughly studied using laser-flash photolysis (LFP), product analysis, and computational studies. A direct observation of the thermal equilibration (fast process) between the singlet diradicals and the corresponding ring-closing compounds was undertaken on the submicrosecond time scale. The solvent and substituent effects on the equilibration constant and rate constants for the ring-closing reaction and ring-opening reaction clarify the novel nitrogen-atom effect on the localized singlet 1,3-diyl diradicals. Two types of alkoxy-migrated compounds, 9 and 10, were isolated with high yields as the final products. Crossover, spin-trapping, and LFP experiments for the formation of alkoxy-group migration products (i.e., 9 versus 10) revealed the unique temperature effect on the product ratio of the two types of alkoxy-migration products. The temperature-insensitive intersystem crossing process (slow process, millisecond time scale) was found to be a key step in the formation of 9, which is an entropy-controlled pathway. An intramolecular migration process was identified for the formation of 10 that was accelerated by a polar solvent in an enthalpy-controlled process. This unique heteroatom effect has opened up a new series of localized singlet diradicals that are crucial intermediates in bond homolysis.