American Chemical Society
ja306364z_si_001.pdf (838.31 kB)

Anionic Substituent Control of the Electronic Structure of Aromatic Nitrenes

Download (838.31 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-20, 01:27 authored by Nathan J. Rau, Emily A. Welles, Paul G. Wenthold
The electronic structures of phenylnitrenes with anionic π-donating substituents are investigated by using mass spectrometry and electronic structure calculations. Reactions of para-CH2-substituted phenylnitrene, formed by dissociative deprotonation of p-azidotoluene, with CS2 and NO indicate that it has a closed-shell singlet ground state, whereas reactions of p-oxidophenylnitrene formed by dissociative deprotonation of p-azidophenol indicate either a triplet ground state or a singlet with a small singlet–triplet splitting. The ground electronic state assignments based on ion reactivity are consistent with electronic structure calculations. The stability of the closed-shell singlet states in nitrenes is shown by Natural Resonance Theory to be very sensitive to the amount of deprotonated-imine character in the wave function, such that large changes in state energies can be achieved by small modifications of the electronic structure.