Rearrangement of 3-Membered 1,1,2-Trifluorobromonium and Iodonium Ions and Comparison of Trifluorochloronium to Fluorocarbenium Ions

Reactions of chlorine (Cl2) with 4-halo-1,1,2-trifluorobut-1-enes (1, 2, or 3) give open-ion intermediates A and E that are in equilibrium. The open-chloronium ions (E) rearrange to a five-membered-ring halonium ion during ionic chlorination of 3 when the number-4 halo-substituent is iodine. Three-membered-ring bromonium and iodonium ions from alkenes 1, 2, or 3 are rather symmetrical and similar in structure. Quantum chemical calculations show that five-membered-ring halonium ion intermediates are 11 to 27 kcal/mol more stable than the three-membered-ring halonium ions or the open-ions A and E. The five-membered-ring intermediates lead to rearranged products. Rearranged products increase as the number-4 halogen (Z) becomes more nucleophilic (Z: Cl < Br < I). Open chloronium ions from ionic chlorination of terminal fluorovinyl alkenes are compared to the open ions generated by protons to similar alkenes.