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Preparation of the Cyclopentazole Anion in the Bulk: A Computational Study

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journal contribution
posted on 30.03.2016, 00:00 by Uzi Geiger, Yehuda Haas
The cyclopentazole anion (cyclo-N5), calculated to be a stable species, was prepared in the gas phase but attempts to synthesize it in the bulk have so far been futile. An aryl pentazole radical anion was suggested as a promising precursor in the gas phase. It is shown computationally that the radical anion (which may be prepared by reduction of the phenyl pentazole neutral) may indeed be used to form the cyclopetazolate anion in the gas phase and in liquid solution, alongside and in competition with the extrusion of N2 to produce the corresponding azide. In the gas phase, the C–N dissociation yields are very low due to much more efficient detachment of an electron. In polar solvents, ionization is suppressed and the primary yields of the two competing reactions are similar. The reaction must be carried out at low temperatures and special measures have to be taken to avoid recombination of the nascent cyclo-N5 with the geminate phenyl radical. A possible remedy is to use a solvent that reacts efficiently with the phenyl radical by H atom transfer.