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Acyl Radical Reactions in Fullerene Chemistry: Direct Acylation of [60]Fullerene through an Efficient Decatungstate-Photomediated Approach

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journal contribution
posted on 25.03.2009, 00:00 by Manolis D. Tzirakis, Michael Orfanopoulos
A versatile and highly efficient photochemical methodology for the direct acylation of C60 has been developed. This approach utilizes a wide variety of acyl radicals derived from aldehydes through a hydrogen atom abstraction process mediated by tetrabutylammonium decatungstate [(n-Bu4N)4W10O32]. The single addition reaction of these acyl radicals to [60]fullerene proceeded selectively to afford a novel class of previously unexplored fullerene-based materials. Product analysis of this reaction showed that decarbonylation and acylation pathways compete when a tertiary or phenylacetyl aldehyde is the starting material. However, a decrease of the reaction temperature was found to be effective in overcoming the decarbonylation encountered in certain acyl radical additions to C60; the carbonyl radical addition precedes decarbonylation even in the cases where the decarbonylation rate constant exceeds 106 s−1 (i.e., phenylacetaldehyde). The regiochemistry of the t-butyl radical addition was also found to be thermally controlled. The present methodology is directly applicable even in the cases of the cyclopropyl-substituted aldehydes, where rapid rearrangement of the cyclopropyl acyl radical intermediate can potentially occur. A mechanistic approach for this new reactivity of C60 has been also provided, based mainly on intra- and intermolecular deuterium isotope effect studies.