American Chemical Society
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An Experimental and Computational Study of 1,2-Hydrogen Migrations in 2-Hydroxycyclopentylidene and Its Conjugate Base

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journal contribution
posted on 2001-01-31, 00:00 authored by Kathleen M. Morgan, Matthew J. O'Connor, Jonathan L. Humphrey, Kerry E. Buschman
Thermal decomposition of α-hydroxydiazirine 2 gives primarily cyclopentanone and some allylic alcohol, in similar amounts as the known cyclohexyl analogue 1. Calculations (B3LYP/6-31+G*) also show cyclopentanone to be the major product of this carbene rearrangement. Diazirine 2 and the lithium salt of the corresponding conjugate base 3 were decomposed by photolysis. The proportion of ketone formed increases with deprotonation, a trend also found computationally. In comparison, the base-induced isomerization of cyclopentene oxide, which proceeds via α-elimination to a carbenoid intermediate similar to that obtained from 3, yields primarily allylic alcohol rather than ketone; neither ring size nor charge thus accounts for the unusual product distribution observed. Interestingly, the calculations reveal that in the gas phase with no counterion, the singlet, oxyanionic carbene, and the α-deprotonated epoxide are the same, rather than discrete structures. This intramolecular complexation stablilizes the oxyanionic carbene by 20−25 kcal/mol.