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Evidence of IR-Induced Chemistry in a Neat Solid: Tautomerization of Thiotropolone by Thermal, Electronic, and Vibrational Excitations

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journal contribution
posted on 20.07.2021, 16:16 authored by Nelson A. M. Pereira, Cláudio M. Nunes, Igor Reva, Rui Fausto
Thiotropolone isolated in argon and xenon matrices (as monomers) or in a neat solid (as the crystalline or amorphous state) at low temperature was found to exist only in the thione-enol form. Visible light irradiation (λ ≥ 400 nm) leads to thione-enol → thiol-keto tautomerization in matrices and under neat solid conditions at 15 K. The assignment of the IR spectra of the two thiotropolone tautomers (thione-enol and thiol-keto) was carried out with the support of B3LYP/6-311+G­(2d,p) computations. The thiol-keto form generated in situ in a neat solid was found to tautomerize back to the thione-enol upon annealing up to 100 K. Gaussian-4 (G4) computations estimate that such a tautomerization process has an energy barrier of ∼25 kJ mol–1, which is consistent with the observations. Moreover, it was found that narrowband IR irradiation of the thiol-keto form in a neat solid, at the frequency of its CH stretching overtones/combination modes, also induces tautomerization to the thione-enol form. Such a result constitutes an important demonstration of vibrationally induced chemistry under neat solid conditions.